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Lawmakers OK Ending Election Of State's Lt. Governor

Matt Rourke

A measure to amend the constitution in Pennsylvania and let each political party's gubernatorial nominee choose who will serve under them as lieutenant governor cleared a first hurdle Tuesday.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 46 to 2 for a constitutional amendment that would end the current practice, in which the governor and lieutenant governor run separately for their party's nominations. It passed the Republican-controlled House 130-67 in December, with most Democrats against it.

The proposal still needs to pass the House and Senate in the 2021-22 legislative session before going to voters for final approval in a statewide referendum.

The change would require each nominee for governor to pick their running mate for lieutenant governor before the November general election. The gubernatorial nominee's pick, however, would have to be approved by the nominee's political party.

The measure's prime sponsor, Republican Sen. David Argall of Schuylkill County, has said the goal is to avoid situations where the two officeholders behave more like rivals than teammates.