State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Bill to change Lt. Gov election process to be introduced

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jun 12, 2017 11:12 PM
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The governor and lieutenant aren't generally considered a natural pairing--an issue that helped inspire the new legislation. (Photo by AP)

 

(Harrisburg) -- Legislation's being introduced in the Senate this week to change how Pennsylvania elects its lieutenant governor.

It was prompted by a scandal that hit Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack recently, which called attention to an apparent rift between himself and Governor Tom Wolf.

In its elections, Pennsylvania uses the relatively uncommon method of having the governor and lieutenant for either party run separately in the primary, and then together in the general election.

That can have the effect of creating odd couplings--like, for instance, Wolf and Stack. The two Democrats are rarely seen together, and have said they don't communicate frequently.

When allegations surfaced in April that Stack was verbally abusing his security detail and other staff members, Wolf stripped him of the detail and cut down on the people who work in the lieutenant governor's mansion.

GOP Senator David Argall, of Schuylkill County, is sponsoring the legislation to amend the state constitution to require the governor and lieutenant to run on a single, intentional ticket.

"I think the current situation is embarrassing," Argall said. "If you have an organization--I don't care if it's public sector or private sector--you expect the number one person and the number two person to work together."

Passing an amendment is a difficult, two-session-long process.

So far, about a dozen other lawmakers are on board.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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