Pa. Senate, House makes history by electing women to lead them


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s Ladies Night at State Capitol as two caucuses in the legislature make history by electing women to lead them into their respective floor fights.

Senator Kim Ward from Westmoreland, and Rep. Joanna McClinton, from Philadelphia, have officially shattered the glass ceiling under the green dome.

This week Ward was elected into the Senate Majority Leader post and McClinton was elected into the role of House Minority Leader. Going forward, negotiations in the Capitol will look different.

“I was a stay-at-home mom for years of three boys and I’m a respiratory therapist also, but I think we bring a different way of working with people,” Ward said.

McClinton is a former assistant public defender in Philly who promises to never stop fighting for the underdog.

“I look forward to going back into the capitol […] and make sure we fight for working families, make sure we fight to fund our public schools, make sure we fight for jobs and also to protect our environment,” McClinton said. “The work ahead of us is serious, but together we can make a difference for Pennsylvanians.”

As COVID-19 cases surge and 2020 comes to an end with Joe Biden assuming the role of President-elect, it will take all hands on deck to overcome a pandemic and its sickening of the state’s finances.

“It’s budget. Tonight, my very first budget meeting at 7 o’clock Friday night. Here we go,” Ward said.

McClinton also intends on focusing on the statewide budget.

“There are small businesses back home that have had to close or suffer financial losses that there is money coming to them as we get ready to sit down for this budget. that is an absolute priority,” McClinton said.

Both women are proud to be elected leaders. Both insist it’s not just about being a woman. But Ward did recognize the significance of this historic accomplishment.

“I did think this morning, well geez maybe someday my granddaughter will say that about me,” Ward said.

And given that the state legislature has been around since 1682, making history in Pennsylvania is certainty something to talk about.


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