The matchup appears to be set for the special election in the 27th state Senate District for the seat vacated by the resignation of John Gordner.
Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder), who currently holds the 108th District seat in the state House, was selected as the Republican nominee on the ballot during a Sunday party session. She has served in the House since 2011.
Patricia Lawton, a speech pathologist from Columbia County, was selected over the weekend to represent the Democratic Party on the ticket during the special election, scheduled for January 31.
Culver received 80 of the 87 voters during the GOP meeting to easily outdistance Clint Lanning of Luzerne County (5 votes) and Todd Robatin of Snyder County (1).
Both said they would throw their support behind Culver.
“I will be behind her 100 percent,” Robatin told the Daily Item. “She has been a family friend for a very long time, and I will support her completely.”
Lawton was the choice over two other Democratic candidates – Nate Eachus of Butler Township and Amber Heidig, chairwoman of the Montour County Democratic Party.
Currently an adjunct instructor at Penn State Harrisburg, Lawton is working on her dissertation for a Ph.D. in Administration and Leadership Studies through Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation focuses on the professional identity of speech language pathologists within in the school-based setting.
The 27th District encompasses parts of Luzerne County including the boroughs of Conyngham, Nescopeck, New Columbus, Nuangola and Shickshinny and the townships of Black Creek, Butler, Conyngham, Dorrance, Fairview, Hollenback, Huntington, Nescopeck, Rice, Salem, Slocum, Sugarloaf and Wright. The district also includes all of Columbia, Montour, Northumberland and Snyder counties.
Republicans hold a nearly 2-to-1 voter registration advantage in the five-county district. Gordner won reelection convincingly in the 2020 race, defeating his Democratic opponent by 51,000 votes.