Pennsylvania G.O.P. refuses to seat Democratic lawmaker in State Legislature.

The effort by congressional Republicans to deny the presidential results found an echo in the Pennsylvania Legislature on Tuesday, when Republicans voted not to seat a Democratic lawmaker who was elected in November and to remove the lieutenant governor, also a Democrat, as the presiding officer of the State Senate.

On a typically ceremonial day of swearing in members, Pennsylvania’s Senate majority refused to seat Senator Jim Brewster, whose narrow victory was officially certified but is being challenged in court.

In a contentious, chaotic session, Republicans also voted to remove Lt. Gov. John Fetterman as the Senate president and to replace him with the top Republican in the chamber.

The lieutenant governor refused at first to leave the rostrum, and for several minutes both he and the Republican voted into his place tried to recognize motions from the floor. Eventually, Mr. Fetterman stepped away.

“I was escorted out,” Mr. Fetterman said in an interview minutes later. “This was a corruption of the fundamental democratic franchise in our state.” He said Mr. Brewster’s win in November was certified by the secretary of the commonwealth and compared the state Republicans’ actions to President Trump’s efforts to subvert the outcome of his race.

Mr. Brewster, who has represented a region outside Pittsburgh for a decade, defeated Nicole Ziccarelli, a Republican, by 69 votes. She is challenging the results in federal court. At issue are several hundred mail ballots that did not have a handwritten date on their outer envelopes. Ms. Ziccarelli lost a challenge in state court.

Jake Corman, the president pro tem of the State Senate and a Republican, told reporters on Monday that his party believed it had to wait for the outcome of the legal challenge before filling the seat. “Our goal is to get it right, not get it fast,” he said.

But Democrats characterized it as a naked power grab. “This idea of having one party decide who is the real victor is a dangerous precedent we’re seeing played out on the national stage,” Mr. Fetterman said.

Jennifer Kocher, a spokeswoman for the Senate Republicans, accused Democrats of creating chaos. “Today, the order and decorum of the Senate were hijacked by Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and members of the Senate Democrat caucus, who failed to adhere to Senate rules,” she said.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*