(WHTM) — The race for a state house seat in Montgomery County was called on Thursday, Nov. 17, for the Democratic candidate, which set off a blue wave in the Pennsylvania state capitol. For the first time in more than a decade Democrats will have a majority in the house, but what does that mean for Pennsylvanians?
For 24 of the past 28 years, including the last 12, Republicans have had the majority in the state house.
“I think voters are ready for a change,” said Rep. Leanne Krueger (D-Delaware County).
State Rep. Krueger is the first woman to chair the House Democratic Campaign Committee and the architect of the big blue upset that put Democrats back on top.
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“It means that we can finally run an agenda on the state house floor that’s responsive to what Pennsylvanians want and need,” Krueger (D-Delaware County) added. “I think voters rejected extremism in all its forms last week.”
Democrats insist that voters sent a clear message to Republicans.
“There’s been a six-year dive into the madness. It’s time to get out of that water, that murky water, and come back to reality that the people in this state, the people in this country, want to get things done,” said Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery County).
However, Senate President Pro Temp Kim Ward thinks differently.
“The Democrats didn’t tell the truth the whole election. They took the abortion issue and said, ‘They’re gonna ban abortion.’ Who’s going to ban abortion? None of us are gonna ban abortion, we have an abortion control act here, and it stays in place,” said Ward.
For Senator Scott Martin, issues such as abortion, Donald Trump, and the redistricting of the state house maps played a role.
“There was a lot of members running in districts now, after redistricting, where 80% of that district was brand new to them. We saw that all over the state,” said Senator Scott Martin (R-Lancaster County).
It’s a brand new game at the capitol with a Democratic house, a razor-thin majority, and likely the first-ever woman speaker.
“I am confident that even with a narrow majority we can hold together and get some really wonderful things done,” said Krueger.
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The majority party gets to put more people on committees, which in turn allows those people to move the bills they want out of committees.