State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

State Senate minority eyes southeast GOP seat

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Aug 28, 2013 10:21 PM
Harrisburg Capitol building with fountain

Democrats in the state Senate have their eyes on a Republican-held seat that'll be up for grabs come next fall. Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware) recently announced he won't be running for re-election at the end of his term in 2014.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa called the news "a very important event," saying Wednesday that Erickson's departure means his caucus will have a chance to add to their current count of 23 members in the 50-seat Senate.

"We believe that we have opportunities there," Costa said. "It's a swing district."

Costa acknowledged that the caucus still faces an uphill battle to grow beyond 27 members. Two other Senate Republicans due to step down (Mike Waugh of York County and Michael Brubaker of Lancaster County) are in historically GOP-held regions.

On top of that, a reliably Democratic seat held by Allegheny County Democratic Senator Jim Ferlo may not be such a sure thing in the future. Under the latest round of redistricting it was redrawn to include about a quarter of the constituents Ferlo has represented since 2003.

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