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House, Senate Hold Leadership Elections

The House and Senate reconvened last week to hold leadership elections. In the House, Republican and Democratic leaders retained their posts for the upcoming 2013-14 legislative session. The only changes to either caucus’ current leadership posts came with vacancy replacements within the House Democratic Caucus.

They voted to keep their current leaders but filled vacancies for caucus secretary and caucus administrator with Reps. Ron Waters (D-Philadelphia), and Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill), respectively.

Waters and Goodman replaced two retiring legislators, caucus secretary Rep. Jennifer Mann (D-Lehigh), and caucus administrator Rep. Ron Buxton (D-Dauphin).

The House Republicans retained their current leadership team, despite a long-shot challenge to caucus secretary Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery), from Crawford County Rep. Brad Roae.

Current House Speaker Sam Smith (R-Punxsutawney) was elected the caucus-designee for the Speaker position. A formal election for the Speaker position will take place before the full House in the new session beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Republicans will hold a 111-90 majority, with two seats vacant.  These were previously held by Matt Smith, who was elected to the State Senate, and Eugene DePasquale, who was elected Auditor General.  The seats will be filled by special elections in 2013.

Twenty seven new members – 18 Democrats and nine Republicans – will be sworn in to their House seats on New Year’s Day.

House Republicans

  • Leader: Mike Turzai, Allegheny County
  • Whip: Stan Saylor, York County
  • Appropriations Chairman: Rep. Bill Adolph, Delaware County
  • Policy Committee Chairman: Rep. Dave Reed, Indiana County
  • Caucus Chairwoman: Rep. Sandra Major, Susquehanna County
  • Caucus Secretary: Rep. Mike Vereb, Montgomery County
  • Caucus Administrator: Rep. Dick Stevenson, Mercer County

House Democrats

  • Leader: Rep. Frank Dermody, Allegheny County
  • Appropriations Chairman: Rep. Joe Markosek, Allegheny County
  • Whip: Rep. Mike Hanna, Clinton County
  • Policy Committee Chairman: Rep. Mike Sturla, Lancaster County
  • Caucus Chairman: Rep. Dan Frankel, Allegheny County
  • Caucus Secretary: Rep. Ron Waters, Philadelphia County
  • Caucus Administrator: Rep. Neal Goodman, Schuylkill County

While the Senate’s margin of control has changed from 30-20 favoring the GOP to 27-23, both caucuses re-nominated their whole leadership slates intact, senators from both parties said.

Senate Republicans

  • Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, Jefferson County
  • Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, Delaware County
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman, Centre County
  • Senate Majority Whip Pat Browne, Lehigh County
  • Majority Caucus Chairman Mike Waugh, York County
  • Majority Caucus Secretary Bob Robbins, Mercer County

Senate Democrats

  • Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, Allegheny County
  • Senate Minority Appropriations Committee Chairman Vince Hughes, Philadelphia County
  • Senate Minority Whip Anthony H. Williams, Philadelphia County
  • Senate Minority Caucus Chairman Richard Kasunic, Fayette County
  • Senate Minority Caucus Secretary Tina Tartaglione, Philadelphia County
  • Senate Democratic Policy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Boscola, Northampton County
  • Senate Minority Caucus Administrator Wayne D. Fontana, Allegheny County

2013 Calendar
The House returns the week of January 14, followed by the Senate on January 22.