(WHTM) — For two weeks, State Senator Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) will be an acting Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania.
The temporary move is to accommodate the gap between outgoing Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman’s swearing-in to the United States Senate on January 3 and incoming Lieutenant Governor-elect Austin Davis’s swearing-in on January 17.
Next in the line of succession will be Ward as Pennsylvania’s State Senate Pro Tempore. Republicans hold a 28-22 majority in the State Senate while a fight continues in the House with the majority in dispute.
“To all members of the Senate, Democrat and Republican, I look forward to working with you to chart a path forward that requires us to selflessly work together advocating for all Pennsylvanians and their families,” said Ward last year after being elected Senate Pro Tempore.
In May 2022, now former Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman served as acting Lieutenant Governor when Fetterman was hospitalized for a stroke. Corman did not seek re-election in 2022.
Fetterman declared victory hours after the polls closed and Republican Mehmet Oz conceded the Senate race the following morning.
Replacing retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey, Fetterman will give Pennsylvania two Democrat U.S. Senators for the third time in Pennsylvania history since 1914 when he joins Senator Bob Casey Jr. in Washington D.C.
During a victory speech in Pittsburgh, Fetterman credited his “every county, every vote” strategy.
“And that’s exactly what happened,” Fetterman, 53, told a cheering crowd at a concert venue in Pittsburgh. “We jammed them up. We held the line. I never expected that we would turn these red counties blue, but we did what we needed to do and we had that conversation across every one of those counties.”
Lt. Governor-elect Davis will be Pennsylvania’s first African American Lt. Governor.
A special election will be called to fill his seat in the state legislature in 2023.