Republicans Blow Chance to Take Back PA House Due to Flood of Mail-in Ballots

Pennsylvania House Democrats have won another special election, this time in suburban Philadelphia, which helps them maintain their narrow control of the state legislature.

The Associated Press called the Bucks County race for Democrat Jim Prokopiak, a local school board member, immediately after votes closed at 8 p.m. Prokopiak faced Republican Candace Cabanas, a home health care worker.

Former state Rep. John Galloway, a Democrat, resigned in December after being elected to a local judgeship, leaving the seat vacant.

Prokopiak is the sixth Democrat to win a special election since the commencement of the most recent legislative term, in January 2023.

During this time, the party has filled a half-dozen vacancies caused by a death, members winning other positions, and a resignation due to sexual harassment claims.

Greg Price explained on X how mail-in ballots were a key to the Democrats’ retention of the deep blue district on an Election Day that was hit with severe winter weather.

“There was a special election today in Bucks County, PA to determine control of the state House of Reps in a Biden+10 district,” Price noted.

“The race has been called for the Democrat over the Republican with 43% of the vote counted because he won the mail in vote 86%-14%.”

Conservative pundit End Wokeness expressed frustration at the Republicans’ loss of the Pennsylvania special election, as well as the New York special election race to replace ousted House Republican George Santos.

“Republicans lost 2 critical elections today. One was a US House seat (Santos seat). The other was control of the PA House,” End Wokeness noted. “Democrats outsmarted the GOP again with a strong mail-in & early voting operation.”

“The GOP was relying on strong Election Day turnout, but a snowstorm in the Northeast changed the equation,” the pundit continued. “We need to get smart. Fast. Or else we could easily blow 2024.”

Philly Burbs provided context on the race’s importance:

Democrats have the governor’s office. Republicans hold the Senate. A Republican win in next week’s special election would give the GOP a majority that could advance school vouchers and constitutional amendments on issues such as abortion, voter identification and curbing the governor’s regulatory authority.

It is the Republicans’ fourth chance in a year to flip the majority back to their favor. Elections last year in FebruaryMay and September broke in Democrats’ favor, in largely Democratic areas.

Get The Free News Addicts Newsletter

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

The Democrat was expected to win Tuesday’s election owing to the district’s political registration and voting history. The other five special elections won by Democrats shared similar voting profiles.

When Prokopiak assumes office, Democrats will retain 102 of the 203 seats in the lower chamber. The bare majority enables the party to control the agenda in the state House, advance their policies, such as raising the minimum wage and increasing education spending, and obstruct those they oppose, such as harsher abortion restrictions or making it easier to overturn state rules.

Overall, this victory strengthens the party’s — and Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro’s — position in upcoming budget negotiations.

The race’s short-term stakes were decreased last week when state Rep. Joe Adams (R., Pike) announced his resignation, giving the Democrats a one-vote majority.

By Melinda Davies
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x