Sen. Joe Scarnati to forgo re-election

Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — ABC27 has learned that Senate Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati told fellow senators in a conference call Wednesday night that he will not seek another term.

Scarnati (R-Jefferson) has been a conservative force in the state Senate, starting his tenure in 2001 but briefly as an independent at the time. He is currently in his fifth term and assumed the leadership post in 2006.

He also was the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania from 2008 until 2011, following the death of Catherine Baker Knoll.

This is the second major leadership announcement in weeks at the Capitol. Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) has also said he is not seeking re-election.

In a news release, Scarnati said:

“Today I am announcing that I will not be seeking a 6th term as Senator for the 25th Senatorial District.  At the end of this year, I will have served the people of the 25th Senatorial district for 20 years.  With the support of my Senate colleagues, I have spent the last 14 of those years in the position of President Pro Tempore and served as Pennsylvania’s 31st Lieutenant Governor from 2008 to 2011. I have worked with five Governors and throughout this time I am proud to have been a leading advocate for rural Pennsylvania values.

“While I am greatly humbled by those who have once again supported my petition to have my name on the ballot, after many conversations with family and close supporters I have made a personal, and not political, decision that I will not be filing my petitions.  My concern with leaving office has always been in large part wanting to ensure the 25th Senatorial District is well represented after my departure from the Senate.

“I came to Harrisburg in 2001 as the first Senator elected as an independent. I was disappointed by the choices that our sitting Senator at the time had made, and could not support his candidacy. My independent streak never ended there in my tenure.  I have always believed that both sides of the aisle must work together on behalf of our constituents and compromise on issues without compromising on our values.  At the same time, I have always sought to protect working families and their hard-earned tax dollars. Since the days of Governor Ed Rendell’s Administration, I have actively blocked the massive proposed tax hikes on workers and businesses as proposed by his Administration and others who have followed.

“I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished for the Commonwealth during my time in the Senate. We have overseen the largest Republican majority since Eisenhower was president (34-16). We have protected the unborn by supporting a strong pro-life agenda.  We have fought to safeguard our 2nd Amendment rights that the liberal left continues to attack. In 2012, we passed a landmark Marcellus Shale Impact Fee bill to ensure responsible drilling and investments in our local communities. We have prioritized job growth and creation across Pennsylvania. We have fought for historic levels of school safety funding – and will continue that fight.

“I thank my family for their unwavering support over the last two decades. Serving in public office is not something that you do alone. I am looking forward to traveling and spending more time with my wife Amy, our children and grandchild.  I also look forward to helping my parents who are both in their 80’s.

“Throughout my time in office, I am grateful to have been surrounded by friends and fellow senators whom I respect.  My success has been largely in part because of serving with incredible colleagues and working with a team of talented individuals who are not my staff, but my co-workers. It takes a strong team to serve constituents and to oversee operations of the Senate.

“I sincerely thank my constituents for the honor of representing them. While the announcement of my future departure comes today, I will still be actively engaged in serving my district and the Senate for the next nine months. I also look forward to continuing to lead the effort this year to maintain our Senate Republican Majority.  Following my departure from the Senate, I will be taking a more active role in my business and evaluating other opportunities.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Stories

More Top Stories

Latest Videos

Don't Miss