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Pennsylvania House GOP Holds Leadership Elections, Celebrates 'Historic' Majority

Kevin McCorry


The Pennsylvania House of Representatives held leadership elections Tuesday in preparation for the impending end of the legislative session. Republican leaders new and old said they're looking forward to having their largest majority in decades next session.

Most of the major changes in the House's majority GOP leadership are due to retirements—the chamber's appropriations chair William Adolf, of Delaware County, is stepping down, as is Susquehanna County Caucus Chair Sandra Major.

They'll be replaced by Stan Saylor of York County and Marcy Toepel of Montgomery County, respectively.

Members voted unanimously for House Speaker Mike Turzai of Allegheny County, and Majority Leader Dave Reed, of Indiana County to maintain their seats.

Reed noted that this is a historic year for the GOP majority—one that will increase its already considerable power against Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.

"To go from a minority of 97 members just a couple years ago, to a historic majority of 122 members—I think that's the largest numbers we've had since the Eisenhower administration," he said.

Montgomery County Representative Kurt Masser also joined the leadership team as Caucus Administrator. He'll take over for incumbent Brian Ellis, of Butler County.

Reed said a priority next session will be finding solutions to the commonwealth's persistent financial problems.

"We're going to have to find a way to balance a budget, not just this year, but next year," he said. "And that may take a broader conversation on what we expect government to look like in Pennsylvania, restructuring government as we know it."

The House Democrats also held leadership elections in their considerably smaller body—they'll hold 81 seats next session.

Their lineup—topped by Minority Leader Frank Dermody of Allegheny County—remains the same.