(WHTM) – On May 16 voters in the 163rd House District will have an opportunity to select their new representative in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in a special election.

The special election was scheduled after Democrat Mike Zabel resigned in March amid allegations of sexual harasment.

Leading into the special election, Democrat Heather Boyd and Republican Katie Ford participated in a debate moderated by abc27 Capitol Bureau Reporter Dennis Owens in Harrisburg.

The 30 minute debate focused on statewide issues including abortion, crime, education, election reforms, opiods, sexual harassment, and the state budget.

The candidates were also asked questions exclusively for online viewers regarding the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), partisanship in Harrisburg, and the 2024 presidential election.

The results of this race could flip the balance of power in the Pennsylvania State House.

Libertarian candidate Alfe Goodwin was unable to attend the debate.