WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — Democrats won control of the state House of Representatives for the first time in 12 years Tuesday as Chester County officials settled a pair of tight House races three weeks after the election.
In the closest race, Democrat Barbara McIlvaine Smith of West Chester won the formerly Republican 156th District seat by 23 votes after officials tabulated hundreds of previously uncounted absentee ballots.
Smith, 56, who owns a water-treatment company, defeated Republican Shannon Royer, 39, who has worked on the House Republicans' staff for a decade, by a tally of 11,614 to 11,591, according to an unofficial count. The back-to-back ballot tabulations gave Democrats a 102-101 edge in the House, although Republicans did not immediately concede loss of control.
Let the games begin. Now we will wait for the recounts and court challenges. If that doesn't work maybe the Republicans can find another man of integrity like Hazleton's Tom Stish who defected to give them control in 1994. Of course if the result is reversed the Democrats will try to poach a GOP lawmaker.
There is real bloodletting going on over at GrassrootsPA that I'm enjoying immensely. I haven't joined in because I was advised a long time ago to stand back and watch the other side implode. If this stands there will be new leadership elections on the Republican side and John Perzel may be replaced as the leader.
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