August elections set to fill four seats in Pa. Legislature

    A bill introduced this fall by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, would add a new branch to Pennsylvania’s school-choice tree — school vouchers. (AP Photo)

    A bill introduced this fall by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, would add a new branch to Pennsylvania’s school-choice tree — school vouchers. (AP Photo)

    Philadelphia voters will be heading to the polls this summer to fill the seats of three state lawmakers who’ve recently resigned, including two who pleaded guilty to corruption charges.

    Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai has set a special election for Aug. 11. Voters will fill the seats of state Reps. Michelle Brownlee and Ron Waters, Democrats who resigned after pleading guilty in a corruption sting. Both will keep their state pensions

    They’ll also vote to replace John Sabatina who last month moved up to the state Senate, taking the seat formerly occupied by Lt. Gov. Mike Stack.

    That means ward leaders, the feudal barons of Philadelphia politics, will be working in the dog days of summer to pick new representatives to send to Harrisburg.

    Rather than waiting for the general election in November, Turzai’s spokesman Stephen Miskin said,  the goal is to have these seats filled in September when the new legislative session begins. That is, if Pennsylvania’s state budget is finished by then.

    “No disrespect to the future representatives, but it’s my hope that they don’t have one vote on the budget,” Miskin said. “It’s our hope and our expectation that we have it done by June 30.”

    A special election will also be held in Delaware County on Aug. 4 to fill the seat vacated by Republican state Rep. Joe Hackett who resigned in April to return to a career in law enforcement.

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