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Democrat’s Defection Reverberates In Pennsylvania’s Senate

Matt Rourke
Sen. John Yudichak of Luzerne County speaks with members of the media at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. The Democrat in Pennsylvania's state Senate from an area that shifted decisively to support Donald Trump in 2016.

State Senator John Yudichak’s announcement that he’s leaving the Democratic Party after two decades in the Legislature swiftly reverberated in the Capitol.

Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati says it absolutely takes away any chance for Senate Democrats to gain control of the Senate in next year’s election.

Yudichak is now the Senate’s only registered independent ever on record. He’ll also join the Senate Republican caucus.

Yudichak blames a corrosive “us vs. them” political world and paints the Democratic Party and the Senate’s Democratic caucus as increasingly less tolerant of issues that are important to him.

Many inside the Democratic caucus accused Yudichak of betraying his roots.

Democratic Sen. John Blake of Lackawanna County called it a “a selfish political bait-and-switch.”