Newly elected councilman refuses to quit Pa. House

    Despite mounting criticism, Delaware County Republican Mario Civera Jr. refuses to leave his old elected office, even though he’s been elected to a new position.

    Civera is a newly elected Delaware County councilman. But he’s still holding onto his seat in the state House of Representatives. In the face of calls from Gov. Ed Rendell and others that he vacate the House seat, he has agreed only to resign as minority chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

    Despite mounting criticism,  Delaware County Republican Mario Civera Jr. refuses to leave his old elected office, even though he’s been elected to a new position.

    Listen:
    [audio:100115LFSEAT.mp3]

    Civera is a newly elected Delaware County councilman.  But he’s still holding onto his seat in the state House of Representatives. In the face of calls from Gov. Ed Rendell and others that he vacate the House seat, he has agreed only to resign as minority chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

    If Civera hangs onto the seat until late March, that would forestall a May 18 special election to replace him. A special election can’t be held until 60 days after a seat is vacated. On that May primary date, Democrats are expected to turn out to vote in a heated U.S. Senate primary.

    Zack Stalberg is the president of the watchdog group The Committee of 70.

    Stalberg: He’s clearly holding onto this seat because of the ongoing battle over the state budget and because he’s trying to keep a Democrat from succeeding him in the House seat.

    Stalberg says no law prevents a person from holding both offices, but he notes Civera promised voters he would step down.

    Andy Reilly, chair of the Delaware County Republican Party, says he expects Civera will step down when he’s comfortable the new state budget is on track.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.