Allegheny County Democrats wasted no time lining up their pick to succeed outgoing state Rep. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny). The committee nominated son-to-be state Senator Smith’s right-hand man, Dan Miller, for the seat.
“We are excited to nominate and recommend Dan to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party Executive Board and look forward to electing him as our next State Representative,” said Chair Nancy Patton Mills.
An attorney and longtime Smith campaigner, Miller, 39, recently served on the Mt. Lebanon Board of Commissioners. He’s popular with labor (and his wife works for the Steelworkers) and a volunteer fireman.
The vote was unanimous – and early. Smith’s seat isn’t even technically vacant yet.
But since the 42nd is contained entirely within one county, the rules give the Allegheny Dems a lot of leeway in choosing a successor. County committee members who live in the 42nd get a vote to pick the party’s candidate. Their recommendation will be passed along to the state party, who are overwhelmingly likely to support it. That’s when Miller will become the nominee.
When Smith’s seat officially becomes vacant in January, House Speaker Sam Smith will have 10 days to call a special election (as well as for the seat of Auditor General-elect Eugene DePasquale). Most insiders expect the specials to take place in March.
County Republicans have not yet chosen a candidate and have a more crowded field of prospective candidates. In addition to those PoliticsPA listed here, Brandon McGinley of the Pennsylvania Family Institute (and a former Turzai staffer) is also mulling a bid.
The 42nd includes Mt. Lebanon and some surrounding communities. The present version of the district is winnable for Republicans – particularly in a low-turnout special election. But the newly drawn version of the district would make it tough for the GOP to hold on in a normal election year.