Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Absentee/Provisional Ballots Will Decide PA House control

Absentee ballots, military absentee ballots, and provisional ballots will make a difference in who controls Pennsylvania's House of Reps...

House control awaits vote totals in 3 races
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
By Tom Barnes, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG -- State House Democratic leaders insisted yesterday that it's still too soon to say which party will control the House for the new two-year session that starts in January.

With the final result in three House races in southeastern Pennsylvania still undecided, "it's too close to call," said House Democratic leader H. William DeWeese of Waynesburg.

...Several hundred absentee ballots are being counted this week for two closely contested Chester County races and a third race in Montgomery County, said Mr. DeWeese and his allies, Reps. Michael Gerber and Josh Shapiro, both Montgomery County Democrats.

In the Montgomery County race for the 70th District seat, Democrat Netta Young Hughes trailed her Republican opponent by 41 votes as of yesterday, but there were "several hundred" absentee ballots that hadn't been counted election night, said Mr. Gerber.

In addition to the absentee ballots, a few dozen provisional and military ballots also must be counted and added to the total. Today is the deadline for the counties to receive the military ballots.

As of yesterday, in Chester County, Barbara McIlwaine Smith trailed her GOP opponent, Shannon E. Royer, by only 19 votes in the 156th District, with 251 absentee ballots not counted. In the 167th Dristrict, Anne Crowley trailed Republican Duane Milne by 136 votes, with 380 absentee ballots not counted. There are provisional and military ballots still to be counted there also...


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Nov. 13, 2006
Take my House! Please!

... It remains to be seen whether the GOP's slim majority will be overturned (all eyes are on the 156th House District in Chester County, where Republican candidate Shannon E. Royer leads Democrat Barbara McIlvaine Smith by 19 votes, prior to the counting of all absentee, provisional and overseas military ballots)...


In defeat, Veon pays the price for pay raise
Thursday, November 09, 2006
By Bill Toland, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The springtime political earthquake that shook loose two Republican leaders, Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer and Majority Leader David Brightbill, and toppled 15 other incumbents delivered its aftershocks on Tuesday to two of Western Pennsylvania's most powerful Democrats.

Minority Whip Mike Veon lost in an upset to newcomer Jim Marshall, while Minority Leader Bill DeWeese survived an Election Day scare.

And the fault lines, observers say, can be traced all the way back to July 7, 2005, straight into the Capitol, where the General Assembly voted to increase its own pay by a minimum of 16 percent, with thousands more for party and committee leaders. With a couple of races yet to be decided, it could prevent the Democrats from grabbing the majority in the House...

..."The irony would be if the Democrats fall short of taking over the House by one seat, and it's his seat."

It appears that may end up being the case: The GOP is clinging to a one-vote, 102-101 majority in the state House. Two photo finishes in Chester County are leaning Republican, but will be examined by Democrats for the rest of the week -- one of the leads is just 19 votes. Had Mr. Veon only taken care of business in his own district, the House majority probably would have flipped to the Democrats, and he would have been in line to be majority leader.

And Mr. DeWeese may have returned to the speaker's chair, something he's coveted for years. He still might, if Democrats are able to eke out one more victory, or if Gov. Ed Rendell can convince a single Republican to switch sides.

Regardless, come January, Mr. DeWeese will be without his right-hand man, Mr. Veon, who is in charge of keeping House Democrats in line and bartering for tough votes


Who is Jim Marshall? By: JD Prose, Times Staff 11/09/2006

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