This Pennsylvania Special Election Is a 2024 Litmus Test

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“We are the swingiest county in the swingiest state.”

Democrats claimed a clear majority in Pennsylvania’s home of representatives in 2022, ending a decade-plus streak of GOP control within the decrease chamber. And they’ve efficiently defended their razor-thin higher hand in three special elections simply within the final 12 months. 

On Tuesday, that majority hangs within the steadiness once more when a particular election will decide which get together fills the spot vacated in December by Democrat John Galloway, who departed the state legislature to fill a judicial place. Until final week, the chamber was tied 101-101 because of Galloway’s retirement. As of Friday, when Republican Joe Adams abruptly resigned, the breakdown turned 101-100. 

The consequence of Tuesday’s race for Galloway’s previous seat in statehouse district 140—representing decrease Bucks County—will both create one other tie or give Democrats a two-seat majority forward of November, when all 203 home seats will likely be on the poll. Half of the 50 seats within the state senate, at present managed by Republicans 28-22, are additionally up for reelection in November. 

Running to fill the home opening created by Galloway’s resignation are Democrat Jim Prokopiak, a lawyer and Pennsbury college board member, and Republican Candace Cabanas, a political novice whose background is in dwelling well being care and hospitality. (In the approaching weeks, yet another special election will likely be held to fill the emptiness left by Friday’s resignation of the Republican within the state home of representatives.)

Galloway’s former district is a pretty Democratic enclave inside a traditionally purple county that has garnered nationwide political consideration in recent times. Bucks County is sort of cut up down the center politically. According to state records, there have been 197,941 registered Democrats and 193,908 registered Republicans as of 2023. In November, Democrats took the vast majority of the Central Bucks County School Board after the conservative-dominated board had instituted e book bans and insurance policies that resulted in guidelines requiring parental permission to name college students by their self-identified names and pronouns, in addition to the removing of LGBTQ pleasure flags from school rooms.

The extent to which voters from the suburban space end up—and the way people who do end up determine to vote—on Tuesday, simply 9 months away from the the state’s far more inclusive General Assembly elections, might be a bellwether for each statewide and nationwide traits in November. 

“Many people would say that we are the swingiest county in the swingiest state,” Prokopiak tells Mother Jones. “The issues being talked about nationwide are happening here in Bucks County.”

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