Stack plans to juggle jobs as Pa. lieutenant governor, senator until May primary

Mike Stack (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Mike Stack (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Pennsylvania’s next lieutenant governor, Mike Stack. raised eyebrows before this month’s gubernatorial election when he said he didn’t plan to immediately resign his state Senate seat if he and fellow Democrat Tom Wolf were to win.

Some observers have questioned whether Stack’s plan to hold two jobs is constitutional, as it could violate the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. Stack has represented the 5th District in Northeast Philadelphia since 2001.

But a spokesman for Stack, Marty Marks, says that after consulting with Wolf, the two-job plan is moving ahead.

“Right now, everybody’s looking into the legal ramifications and what the rules say,” Marks said. “I can tell you his position does have the support of the Democratic caucus. And so we’re looking for more clarification as far as the law is written.”

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Stack’s case all along has been that the alternative to holding two positions would be calling a special election to replace him – a proposition that’s expensive (the cost to taxpayers is estimated at more than $200,000) and tends to draw very low turnout.

Instead, Stack’s plan is to hold a special election at the same time as the municipal primary in the spring. That’s good news for skeptics, since it means that even if Stack does end up holding two positions, it will only be for a few months.

Stack and Wolf will be inaugurated in January, and the next city primary is set for May.

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