It is special election day in the 27th Senate District as Republican Lynda Schlegel Culver meets Democrat Patricia Lawton for the seat vacated by John Gordner.
Gordner, who resigned to become chief counsel to President Pro Tempore of the Senate Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), was first elected to the seat in 2002 after changing his party affiliation the previous year. He won reelection with 72 percent of the vote in 2020.
The seat has been occupied by a Republican since 1980, when Democrat Franklin Kury stepped aside after two terms in Harrisburg and Edward Helfrick took over for the next 22 years.
Republicans hold a significant voter registration advantage in the district that covers part of five counties. According to the Department of State voter registration data, there are 161,174 registered voters in the 27th, including 90,238 Republicans and 48,725 Democrats.
Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder), a resident of Sunbury, currently holds the 108th District seat in the state House. She has served in the House since 2011.
Lawton, a resident of Bloomsburg, is a speech pathologist from Columbia County.
The winner of the special election will become the 17th female state Senator in the current session. There are presently nine Democrats and seven Republicans, including Ward, in the chamber.
There are two years left in Gordner’s term. The district covers all of Columbia, Montour, Northumberland and Snyder counties and part of Luzerne County, including Conygham, Nescopeck and Shickshinny.
The polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Who won, Culver or Lawton?