Three Pennsylvania state legislative specials on May 21

In Pennsylvania, special elections are being held for District 33 and District 41 of the state Senate and District 11 of the state House on May 21. All three seats were vacated by Republican incumbents.
  • In Senate District 33, Sarah Hammond (D) and Doug Mastriano (R) are running in the general election. The seat became vacant after Richard Alloway (R) resigned on February 28, 2019. Alloway cited political gridlock, a lack of advancement opportunities, and burnout as reasons for his resignation. Alloway had served in the state Senate since 2009.
  • In Senate District 41, Susan Boser (D) and Joe Pittman (R) are running in the general election. The seat became vacant after Don White (R) resigned on February 28, 2019, for health reasons. White had served in the state Senate since 2001.
  • In House District 11, Samuel Doctor (D) and Marci Mustello (R) are running in the general election. The seat became vacant after Brian Ellis (R) resigned on March 18, 2019, following allegations of sexual assault. Ellis had served in the state House since 2005.
Three other state legislative special elections have already been held in Pennsylvania in 2019. On April 2, Senate District 37 flipped from Republican control to Democratic control. Six seats have flipped as a result of 2019’s state legislative special elections. Elections have been held for 26 Democratic seats and 14 Republican seats. Four seats have flipped from Democratic control to Republican control. One seat has flipped from Republican control to Democratic control. One seat has flipped from Republican control to an independent officeholder.
 
Pennsylvania has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Heading into the special elections, Republicans hold a 26-22 majority in the state Senate with two vacancies. The state House is controlled by a 109-93 Republican majority with one vacancy. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) was first elected in 2014 and won re-election to a second term in 2018.
 



About the author

Tyler King

Tyler King is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at tyler.king@ballotpedia.org

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