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May 21, 2013 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

WATCHBLOG: Democrats win special elections for House seats in York, Allegheny counties

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

CAMP HILL – Democrats retained two seats in the state House by winning a pair of special elections on Tuesday to fill vacant seats.

In York County, Kevin Schreiber defeated Republican candidate Bryan Tate to win the 95th district seat.  Schreiber received 3,458 votes, compared to 2,518 votes for Tate and 521 votes for William Swartz, a Green Party candidate.

The seat was vacated when Eugene DePasquale resigned to become the state’s new auditor general in January.

In Allegheny County, Democrat Dan Miller collected 5,635 votes to defeat Republican candidate Dan Remely, who got 3,699 votes. Libertarian Party candidate George Brown finished third with 539 votes.

That seat was formerly occupied by state Sen. Matt Smith, D-Allegheny, who won his new seat in the legislature’s upper chamber last November.

With the victories, the Republican majority in the state House was reduced to 111-92. Both seats had formerly been held by Democratic lawmakers.

Both Schreiber and Miller will face re-election in 2014, but they will do so on new district lines approved by the state Supreme Court last month.

Schreiber currently serves as Community and Economic Development Director for the city of York. He told WITF’s Marie Cusick last week that he wanted to shift the burden for paying for schools off of property taxpayers.

“We need a menu of new revenue options that are statewide,” he said.

Miller is an attorney who specializes in special education issues. He told Ed Blazina of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week that he wants more spending on transportation, would vote to expand Medicaid and wants to modernize what he called “an antiquated” state liquor store system.

The only major statewide judicial race on Tuesday was the Democratic primary for Superior Court.

With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Jack McVay, an Allegheny County judge, led Joseph Waters, a judge in Philadelphia, by a tally of 55 percent to 44 percent.

The winner will face Republican Vic Stabile, a Cumberland County attorney who was unopposed in his party’s primary, in November.

Contact Boehm at Eric@PAIndependent.com

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Eric Boehm is a reporter for PA Independent. He can be reached at Eric@PAIndependent.com or at (717) 350-0963.

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