On Jan. 17, Pennsylvania state Senator David Arnold (R) died from brain cancer.
Arnold won election to the 48th District seat in a special election on Jan. 14, 2020. The seat became vacant after Mike Folmer (R) resigned on Sep. 18, 2019, after being charged with possession of child pornography. Prior to serving in the Senate, Arnold was the district attorney for Lebanon County for 14 years.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R) and Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R) issued a joint statement on Jan. 17, saying, “We join the residents of the 48th Senatorial District and all Pennsylvanians in mourning the passing of Senator Dave Arnold. We lost a good man and committed leader much too soon.”
If there is a vacancy in the Pennsylvania Legislature, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat. The presiding officer in the house where the vacancy happened must call for an election. There are no deadlines set in the state constitution on when a special election can be held.
This is the second vacancy in the Pennsylvania Legislature so far in 2021. Mike Reese (R) died from a brain aneurysm on Jan. 2, leaving a vacancy in the District 59 seat of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
So far in 2021, there have been 20 state legislative vacancies in 16 states. Two of those vacancies have been filled.