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House, Senate Elect 2015-16 Leadership

The House and Senate met last week to elect caucus leadership for the upcoming 2015-16 legislative Session.  Given the fact that the GOP expanded its majorities in both chambers, it was somewhat abnormal that the biggest upsets and changes came from the Republican camps. In the Senate, the only leadership post that did not change control was President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, although he still must face full Senate vote when the Senate returns to session.

Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi was defeated by Appropriations Chair Jake Corman after being challenged publicly by several members for catering to the state’s unions and refusing to allow votes on several key agenda items.  As a result of the leader election, all other GOP leaders either changed positions or were newly elected.  Senate Democrats retained Minority Leader Jay Costa, making only a few minor shuffles.

In the House, Mike Turzai had been vying for outgoing Speaker Sam Smith’s position and was awarded Speaker Designee, which will also be voted upon by the full House on Jan. 1

The House Republicans also had big shakeups in leadership with only Appropriations Chair Bill Adolph and Caucus Secretary Sandy Major retaining their posts. The biggest leap forward was Dave Reed who rose from Policy Chairman to Majority Leader.   The House Democrats retained Minority Leader Frank Dermody, making only minor changes to other leadership positions.

Senate Republican Leadership
Interim President Pro Tempore: Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) **Full Senate Vote on 1/6/15**
Leader: Jake Corman (R-Centre)
Appropriations Chairman: Patrick Browne (R-Lehigh)
Whip: John Gordner (R-Columbia)
Caucus Chair: Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery)
Caucus Secretary: Richard Alloway (R-Franklin)
Caucus Administrator: Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks)
Policy Chair: David Argall (R-Schuylkill)

Senate Democratic Leadership
Leader: Jay Costa (D-Allegheny)
Appropriations Chair: Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia)
Whip: Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia)
Caucus Chair: Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny)
Caucus Secretary: Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia)
Caucus Administrator: John Yudichak (D-Luzerne)
Policy Chair: Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton)

House Republican Leadership
Speaker-Designee: Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) **Full House Vote on 1/6/15**
Leader: David Reed (R-Indiana)
Appropriations Chairman: William Adolph (R-Delaware)
Whip: Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster)
Caucus Chair: Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna)
Caucus Secretary: Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion)
Caucus Administrator: Brian Ellis (R-Butler)
Policy Chair: Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre)

House Democratic Leadership
Leader: Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny)
Appropriations Chairman: Joseph Markosek (D-Allegheny)
Whip: Mike Hanna (D-Clinton)
Caucus Chair: Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny)
Caucus Secretary: Rosita Youngblood (D-Philadelphia)
Caucus Administrator: Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill)
Policy Chair: Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster)