Dems Launch New Strategy To Control Pennsylvania

In the upcoming Pennsylvania House election, Democrats can solidify their control by winning the suburban Philadelphia district. This shift in favor of Democrats comes after a Republican lawmaker’s resignation last week, which tilted the balance back in the Democrats’ favor.

The upcoming election in Bucks County will see a contest between a Democrat school board member and a Republican newcomer to politics, possibly extending the Democrats’ lead in the House. Until Rep. John Galloway’s resignation in December, Democrats had a slim majority of one vote. A subsequent resignation by a Republican legislator ended the deadlock, tipping the scales to a 101-100 majority in favor of the Democrats. Meanwhile, a special election set for April 23 in northeastern Pennsylvania will allow voters to choose a successor, potentially affecting the current political equilibrium further.

Bucks County has traditionally leaned towards the Democratic party and is located in a county with long-time Republican areas where the GOP has been gradually losing influence. The county has consistently supported Democratic presidential candidates since the 1990s. In Galloway’s district, President Joe Biden won by a margin of ten percentage points in the 2020 election. Moreover, registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a ratio of 3 to 2.

Despite these favorable signs for Democrats, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is investing $50,000 to safeguard the party’s majority in the chamber. Republicans also have the opportunity to deadlock chambers at a 101-101 tie. However, past elections in predominantly Democratic areas in February, May, and September last year favored Democrats.

Democrats hold the governor’s office, while Republicans control the Senate. The partisan divide in the House resulted in no voting days scheduled for January and February.

The Democratic candidate, Jim Prokopiak, aged 49, was first elected to the school board in a district north of Philadelphia in 2021. Prokopiak aims to continue the work that the Democrats have been doing to support the middle class.

On the other hand, the Republican candidate, Candace Cabanas, aged 45, is running to represent the working-class district. While she does not necessarily intend to shift power closer to Republican control, Cabanas aims to support working-class families in lower Bucks County.

This election allows Democrats to strengthen their hold on the Pennsylvania House, potentially giving them a more significant advantage. It will be interesting to see how voters in Bucks County decide and what impact this will have on the balance of power in the chamber.