Republican Party leaders and representatives from the 15 counties that make up Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District will meet on March 2 to choose their party’s nominee for a special election on May 21. Six candidates have declared their candidacy on the Republican side. Democrats already nominated Marc Friedenberg on February 12—he was the only Democratic candidate to file to run.
The seat has been vacant since Tom Marino (R) resigned on January 23, 2019. He beat Friedenberg 66-34 in the 2018 election. Marino left Congress to take a job in the private sector.
This will be the first special election to fill a vacancy in the 116th Congress. One other special election is scheduled for 2020 for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, and two others have been called but not scheduled in North Carolina (NC-3 and NC-9). There were 17 special elections held during the 115th Congress from 2017 to 2018. In those elections, Democrats picked up four seats, and two of those were in Pennsylvania.