On Tuesday, Speaker Mike Turzai announced March 17 as the special election date to fill three vacant state House seats.
I have called the special elections for the 8th, 18th and 58th legislative districts for March 17, 2019. I have also appointed Rep. Tom Murt to chair the Human Services Committee and Rep. Gary Day to chair the Aging Committee.
— Speaker Mike Turzai (@RepTurzai) January 7, 2020
State Reps. Ted Nesbit (R-Mercer) and Justin Walsh (R-Westmoreland) won bids for county judge, while state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) won a seat for county commissioner.
After Turzai announced the special election dates that are slated just a month before the state’s primary, a spokesperson for the House Democrats criticized the decision as costly and believes it will create “unnecessary confusion” among voters.
“There’s no good reason to hold these elections on a separate date so close to the primary,” Democratic House Minority Leader Frank Dermody said in a statement. “It’s a large cost, one that’s unbudgeted, and a needless complication that benefits nobody except a few political insiders.”
In the release, Dermody also cited that recent changes to voting laws and voting machines should have been a factor in choosing a different date.
The nominees for the special elections in the 8th, 18th, and 58th state House Districts will be selected by their parties.