On Tuesday, three state legislative special elections were held in Pennsylvania. The seats for Senate District 33, Senate District 41, and House District 11 were on the ballot. Candidates running for special elections in Pennsylvania are selected directly by political parties, rather than through a primary election process.
Doug Mastriano (R) defeated Sarah Hammond (D) in the race for Senate District 33. Mastriano received 7,863 votes (69.5 percent) according to the unofficial election night count, and Hammond received 3,445 votes (30.5 percent). The seat became vacant after Richard Alloway (R) resigned on February 28, 2019. Penn Live reported that Alloway explained his resignation was due to political gridlock, a lack of advancement opportunities, and burn out.
In District 41, Joe Pittman (R) defeated Susan Boser (D). Pittman received 24,236 votes (65.6 percent), while Boser received 12,708 votes (34.4 percent). The seat became vacant after Don White (R) resigned on February 28, 2019, for health reasons.
In the race for House District 11, Marci Mustello (R) defeated Samuel Doctor (D). Mustello received 5,808 votes (57.4 percent), and Doctor received 4,312 votes (42.6 percent). The seat became vacant after Brian Ellis (R) resigned on March 18, 2019, following allegations of sexual assault.
As of May, 55 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 22 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
Entering the special election, the Pennsylvania State Senate had 22 Democrats, 26 Republicans, and two vacancies. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives had 93 Democrats, 109 Republicans, and one vacancy. 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.