PA Democrats seek opportunity in Republican lawmakers' retirements

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Sep 2, 2013 4:12 AM

(Lancaster) -- Democrats hoping to tip the balance of power in the state Senate may get a chance next year, as three Republican lawmakers are planning to leave the chamber.

Sens. Michael Brubaker of Lancaster County and Michael Waugh of York County have announced their 2014 retirement plans, as has Sen. Edwin Erickson of Delaware County.

Franklin and Marshall College political scientist Terry Madonna says Senate Democrats gained three seats in the last election and picked them up from Republicans who did not seek re-election.

"You have departures in a couple of key Senate races that made the Democrats increase their numbers to 23," Madonna explains. "Some of it had to do with the district boundary lines and the way they were redrawn."

Madonna says Waugh and Brubaker's midstate districts are considered too conservative to be competitve in next year's vote.

He says Erickson's Delaware County district is likely the Democrats' best chance to gain a seat.

The GOP currently holds a 27-to-23 seat advantage over Democrats, with 26 votes necessary to pass a bill.

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