News & Brews December 1, 2022

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Pa. Senate accepts articles of impeachment against Krasner

Yesterday, the state Senate voted to formally accept Articles of Impeachment filed by the House against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. The Inquirer reports that the members of the senate then voted “along party lines to approve a measure notifying Krasner of the charges against him, giving him until mid-December to respond in writing, and summoning him to appear at his trial, scheduled to begin Jan. 18.”

Another Superior Court judge joins race for Supreme Court

Democrat Superior Court Judge Deborah Kunselman has become the third person to announce her candidacy for the open state Supreme Court seat, formerly held by Chief Justice Max Baer, who passed away in September. Kunselman joins fellow Democrat Superior Court Judge Dan McCaffery and Republican Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Carluccio, both of whom also recently announced their candidacies. The election will take place next year.

State rep. announces candidacy for vacant senate seat

Following the resignation this week of state Sen. John Gordner (Columbia, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, and Snyder counties) to become counsel to interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, Rep. Linda Schlegel Culver (Northumberland and Snyder counties) has announced her candidacy for Gordner’s seat. Culver was first elected to the House in 2010 and, prior to that, spent more than 20 years working for former state Rep. Merle Phillips. A date has not yet been set for the special election to fill this vacant seat.

Uncertainty to reign as Pa. House begins next legislative session

As Democrats won control of the Pa. House by one seat, but Republicans may hold numerical majority for a while given three Democrat seats will be vacant, former Pa. House Speaker Bob O’Donnell writes in Broad + Liberty of the various scenarios that may ensue, from chaos to stalemate to power sharing and more. Read his piece here. (Of note, since the writing, House Speaker Bryan Cutler did, indeed, schedule one of the special elections to fill a vacant seat. See next item.)

Special House election scheduled for Feb. 7, 2023

Yesterday, House Speaker Bryan Cutler set February 7, 2023 as the date for a special election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Rep. Tony DeLuca. Almost immediately, Democrat Leader Joanna McClinton responded by saying that she agrees with the February 7 date but that it’s her job, not Cutler’s, to call the special election. (See previous item on the balance of power for more context on this.) McClinton says she plans to call a special election for the exact same date. So, there we are.

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