Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Smith, DeWeese re-elected leaders of Pa. House
By MARTHA RAFFAELE Associated Press Writer Nov 15, 12:10 AM EST

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The Republican and Democratic leaders of the state House of Representatives both fended off challengers Tuesday to win re-election in their respective caucuses.

House Majority Leader Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, and Minority Leader H. William DeWeese, D-Greene, retained their leadership positions during elections held in private caucus meetings.

Both were challenged by rank-and-file members who campaigned on promises that they would make the House's activities more open to the public and give lawmakers greater say in the legislative process. Rep. Curt Schroder, R-Chester, challenged Smith, while Rep. Thomas A. Tangretti, D-Westmoreland, contested DeWeese.

Democrats completed their voting within 2 1/2 hours, while the Republican elections took closer to six hours.

Same old bosses in Pa. House Wednesday, November 15, 2006
By Tracie Mauriello, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG -- Reform-minded voters last week put a large number of newcomers into office, but both state House caucuses remained resistant to change yesterday.

House Democrats and Republicans kept the same leaders, leaving reform advocates to wonder how much change they can expect in a statehouse viewed as inaccessible and unresponsive.

Rep. Sam Smith of Punxsutawney yesterday overcame a challenge by Rep. Curt Schroder to remain Republican leader and H. William DeWeese of Waynesburg beat Rep. Thomas Tangretti of Greensburg to remain Democratic leader.

Mr. Smith has held his position since 2003 and Mr. DeWeese, since 1995.

Philadelphia Rep. John Perzel, who has been speaker for three years, was unopposed as the Republican nominee to keep his post -- assuming the GOP maintains control of the House. That's in question because three races in Chester and Montgomery counties are still too close to call and some absentee, military and provisional ballots there have yet to be counted.

Unofficial results show the Republicans have a majority of 102-101.

"The people of Pennsylvania lost today because the people who controlled the agenda of the past still control it for the future," said Gene Stilp, a Harrisburg activist who led the charge to elect 55 newcomers to office last Tuesday.

House leaders survive reform effort By Alison Hawkes, For the Herald-Standard

HARRISBURG - Newly elected House lawmakers, a quarter of which are new members bent on government reform, voted for the same guard to fill top party leadership posts and against candidates running on reform platforms.

House Democrats reappointed to their helm House Democratic Leader Bill DeWeese, while Republicans anointed House Republican Leader Sam Smith. The GOP also nominated Speaker John Perzel for a third term, although his vote is expected take place by the entire House in January if the Republicans retain control of the chamber...

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