Democrat Jim Prokopiak defeats Republican Candace Cabanas in Bucks special election

The win for the 140th District cements Democrats' narrow control over the Pennsylvania House.

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Jim Prokopiak poses for a photo

Jim Prokopiak. (Courtesy of JimFor140)

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Democrats have cemented their narrow command over the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Democrat Jim Prokopiak on Tuesday defeated Republican Candace Cabanas in the race for the 140th District in Bucks County.

“Tonight, we were able to push forward Pennsylvania, and it’s not about me,” Prokopiak said standing alongside his new colleagues, including Speaker Joanna McClinton. “It’s about everyone in this room who have done the work for the last year and will continue to do the work. It’s about what we believe in — who we fight for.”

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Tuesday’s special election marked the fourth time in under a year where control over the state House hung in the balance. Prokopiak replaces Democratic state Rep. John Galloway, who resigned in November and became a judge.

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.

Pennsylvania Democrats entered Tuesday’s contest with a 101-100 lead in the state House and are leaving with a 102-100 majority.

“We are fired up and excited because it was in November of 2022 that voters all across Pennsylvania decided they wanted to see a Democratic majority,” McClinton said. “They wanted to send folks to Harrisburg that were going to fight to raise the minimum wage. They were going to send folks to Harrisburg to cut property taxes for our seniors. They were going to send some folks to Harrisburg to make sure that we’re doing everything possible to help hard working families.”

Prokopiak’s victory guarantees the party’s majority, heading into another special election within the next two months.

“For over a decade, I fought for the people here in Lower Bucks County and I’ll continue to do that in Harrisburg,” Prokopiak, a Pennsbury School District board member, said. “Whether it be fighting for livable wages, affordable housing, [or] whether it be fighting for fully funding our education so that no one gets left behind and protecting women’s rights to control their own bodies.”

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The 140th District, comprising Falls Township, Morrisville, Tullytown and parts of Middletown Township, has been Democratic-leaning for years. Prokopiak campaigned on making Lower Bucks County a more affordable place to live.

The race garnered national attention as Democrats sought to draw ties between Cabanas and the rightward shift of the Republican party. Prokopiak, an attorney by trade, sought to pin his opponent down on issues like abortion.

In an interview with WHYY News, Prokopiak said a special election is like an eight-week sprint.

“But in this case, two of the weeks were between Christmas and New Year’s,” he said. “So really when you’re talking to voters, you only really have a six-week window in this situation. So it required a lot of time, effort and a great team to get our message out.”

Prokopiak will finish the final year of Galloway’s term. He will have to defend the seat again during November’s general election.

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