For the most part, Pennsylvania Democrats had a very good 2018, as they hold on to the Governor’s mansion, re-elected Sen. Bob Casey, won several Congressional seats (thanks to Supreme Court redistricting), and broke the GOP’s supermajority in the State Senate. But other than Conor Lamb’s two victories, the party was unable to crack the GOP’s hold on Allegheny County and much of western PA, a shortcoming that kept legislative power in Republican hands.
This spring, Democrats will get their first shot at cracking that Republican rampart in a special election for the open State Senate seat out of District 37.
This weekend, Lt. Gov. Mike Stack announced that there would be a special election on April 2nd to replace Guy Reschenthaler, who was just sworn in as a US Congressman. Both parties have an abundance of potential candidates, and each will choose their nominees within the next week in private meetings. Not the best way to do democracy, but those are the rules.
This is a seat that was in Conor Lamb’s original congressional territory and voted for Trump 51-45, so it should be a very competitive (and expensive) race.
Other newly added special elections include the first-ever mayoral race in Pueblo, Colorado (runoff on January 22nd); a State Senate seat (previously held by Democrats) in Minnesota (primary on January 22nd); and the lone Republican-held Los Angeles City Council seat (June 4th).