Flood of mail-in ballots enable Democrats to keep control of Pennsylvania state House

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News February 15, 2024

Thanks to a massive advantage in mail-in voting, Pennsylvania House Democrats won a special election on Tuesday which enabled them to maintain control of the lower chamber of the state legislature.

Jim Prokopiak

Democrat Jim Prokopiak won 86 percent of the mail-in vote in defeating Republican Candace Cabanas in the state House race in Bucks County on Tuesday.

Prokopiak’s election to the 140th District seat will give Democrats a 102-100 majority in the state House, which they have sought to defend in four special elections in the past year.

Throughout much of this abbreviated campaign cycle, the state House was tied 101-101. But days before the election, Republican state Rep. Joe Adams stepped down from his post in Pike and Wayne counties due to a family medical reason.

Former state Rep. John Galloway, a Democrat, resigned in December after being elected to a local judgeship, leaving the 140th District seat vacant. Prokopiak will finish the final year of Galloway’s term. He will have to defend the seat again during November’s general election.

While campaigning, Prokopiak, 49, said his goals as a lawmaker aligned with the Democrat Party’s larger ambitions since they retook the chamber — more money for K-12 education, preserving access to abortions, and a higher minimum wage.

“No one can afford to live on the federal minimum wage in this area,” he said. “If we’re going to be talking about good-paying jobs and creating life-sustaining jobs, the first thing we have to do is raise the minimum wage because it’s clear that is not sustaining anybody.”

“What I heard from voters is that Bucks County residents need help supporting their families, want control over their own bodies, and ensure they have the ability to chart their own paths in life,” Prokopiak said in a statement. “I’m committed to taking my conversations with voters to Harrisburg and making their dreams a reality.”

Republicans control the state Senate. A Republican win in Tuesday’s special election would have given the GOP a majority in the state House and the ability to advance school vouchers and constitutional amendments on issues such as abortion, voter identification, and curbing the governor’s regulatory authority.

Your Choice

Quality Resource for Citizen Journalists