Mike Turzai

Matt Rourke / AP

A day after leaving his post as speaker of Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, Mike Turzai has become general counsel for Peoples Gas, the Pittsburgh-based natural gas division of Essential Utilities Inc., the company said Tuesday.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 

On today's program: Protests and demonstrations demanding an end to racism and police violence against people of color continue across the country; Mike Turzai retires as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House; and local nonprofits are working hard to provide more aid during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Pennsylvania House Speaker Says He'll Leave Office Next Week

Jun 10, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

The highest ranking Republican in the state House said Wednesday he will leave office next week, creating an election year power vacuum atop the politically riven chamber.

House Speaker Turzai Accepted $11K Flight From Businessman With Fracking-Related Companies

Jun 5, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai, an outspoken advocate for the state’s fossil fuel industry, accepted an $11,000 plane ride last year from a Pittsburgh-area businessman involved in two fracking-related companies.

Matt Rourke / AP

Less than two weeks before the primary, Pennsylvania House Republicans are asking the state to reverse its approval of Allegheny County’s limited in-person voting plan, saying it will create long lines at polls and disenfranchise voters.

Photos courtesy of the candidates / 90.5 WESA

Republican Mike Turzai represented the 28th state house District for nearly two decades before announcing his plans to retire at the end of this year. None of the three Republicans vying for his North Hills seat would have the same legislative clout as Turzai, the outgoing Speaker of the House. But they still believe they can help guide the state through the coronavirus pandemic.

Democrats Call For PA House Special Election To Be Postponed

Mar 16, 2020
Keith Srakocic / AP

Democrats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are condemning the decision by Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) to let a special election proceed in a district that’s located in an area under state restrictions intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Matt Rourke / AP

Three Republican candidates are now hoping to replace outgoing House Speaker Mike Turzai in the 28th District, making for the first competitive contest the district has seen in years. Michael Heckmann and Libby Blackburn will join Rob Mercuri on the ballot in April.

Michael Drazdzinski / The University of Pittsburgh

 

On today's program: GOP leadership is changing in Harrisburg; some U.S. waterways might lose federal protection; a new report reveals companies did not report hospitalizations of those with intellectual disabilities; and Pitt’s Department of Africana Studies celebrates 50 years. 

Rob Mercuri Campaign

Rob Mercuri is a relative newcomer to politics, but he can already claim a leg up on many more seasoned politicos: While insiders and journalists spent much of their week trying to figure out what state House Speaker Mike Turzai was planning to announce this Thursday, Mercuri already knew Turzai would not run for office again.

A day after Turzai said he was stepping down, in fact, Mercuri announced his campaign for Turzai’s House seat – with Turzai’s endorsement.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Speaker of the state House Mike Turzai, a key figure in western Pennsylvania Republican politics for the past two decades, announced Thursday that he will not run for re-election this year and hopes to find work in the private sector. 

Matt Rourke / AP

State House Speaker Mike Tuzai has scheduled a press conference for Thursday morning, amid rumors that he plans to resign.

Turzai’s office did not provide details on what the top House Republican will discuss Thursday, and the speaker declined repeated requests for comments about his plans. But lawmakers, lobbyists and staffers in the state Capitol say they’ve heard credible rumors he is stepping down.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania state House Democrats say they’re trying to “force a vote” on a package of bills meant to serve as a backstop should the Affordable Care Act be repealed nationwide.

SKOPOV CAMPAIGN/PA GOP

Pennsylvania’s speaker of the House won re-election Tuesday against a political newcomer.

 

Republican Rep. Mike Turzai will continue to represent the 28th House district north of Pittsburgh, defeating Democrat Emily Skopov.

Since 2001, Turzai has represented the district, which includes Bradford Woods and Franklin Park, as well as Marshall, McCandless and Pine townships. Both candidates live in Marshall Township.

Skopov campaign/PA GOP

Republican Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai and Democrat Emily Skopov sparred from the outset of their first and only debate on Thursday night.

Caiolinn Ertel/PA GOP

One of Pennsylvania’s most prominent Republican lawmakers is being challenged by a Democrat who has never held public office. Speaker of the House Mike Turzai has represented the 28th district north of Pittsburgh since 2001. But Democrats say the area has changed since then.

Matt Rourke / AP

Aqua America has regularly backed dozens of Pennsylvania political candidates financially since 2005. The company has spent $153,750 on contributions to state and local candidates this year alone, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Last week, the company announced it would purchase Peoples Gas for $4.3 billion.

Both companies have been eyeing the struggling Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, and have expressed interest in providing water to the city.

Matt Rourke / AP

The Democrat running against State House Speaker Mike Turzai says the Republican isn’t taking domestic violence legislation seriously.

Speaker Calls Window For Sex Abuse Lawsuits 'A Compromise'

Sep 12, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

The Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives says his chamber is poised to take up changes to the state's limits on child sexual abuse lawsuits, predicting a 2-year window to allow victims with older claims to sue would pass.

Speaker Mike Turzai on Wednesday called the 2-year window "a compromise" compared to a different proposal to entirely eliminate limits of lawsuits for victims of all ages.

Last month's sweeping grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church also recommended a 2-year window.

Matt Rourke / AP

The speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives didn't look very far to find a new member of the board for the system of state-owned universities: he appointed himself.

Speaker Mike Turzai said Monday that he was honored to join the 20-member Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors.

The Allegheny County Republican says he wants to help ensure the schools are preparing students for jobs that are available and to help resist proposals to increase tuition, room or board.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Kerry Cannon, 31, of Bethel Park, works the salad bar at an Eat n' Park restaurant, a job she said she enjoys. She has Down syndrome, and said she has a good life. 

Pennsylvania House of Representatives / legis.state.pa.gov

Abuse allegations against Delaware County Representative Nick Miccarelli have put state Capitol law enforcement in a somewhat unprecedented situation.

Two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer and L&P’s The Caucus reported that two women who dated Miccarelli accused him repeated abuse.

Late last week, one of those women went public.

GOP Leaders To Seek Halt To Pennsylvania Congressional Map

Feb 21, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislature said Wednesday they will soon ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the imposition of new congressional district maps, two days after they were announced by the state's highest court.

House Speaker Mike Turzai said that later Wednesday he and his Senate counterpart will request an emergency stay of what he called a "completely partisan, ultimate gerrymander."

Marc Levy / AP

At its annual winter meeting Saturday, the Pennsylvania Republican Party endorsed York County state Senator Scott Wagner for governor.

The hat-tip gives Wagner a powerful new talking-point as he attempts to unseat Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

Wagner had a strong lead in straw votes leading up to the endorsement—pulling 175 out of 317 nods from around the state.

Lawmakers Won't Meet Deadline To Vote On Congressional Map

Feb 8, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Legislature said Thursday they would not be able to meet a court-ordered deadline to hold a vote on a replacement map for the state's congressional districts, but that they still hoped to develop a plan in the coming days.

Matt Rourke / AP

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to intervene in the case requiring Pennsylvania lawmakers to draw new congressional districts before the May primary, there’s just three days left to create a new map.

Matt Rourke / AP

The state Republican Party is starting its monthlong series of meetings with candidates for governor and other top offices to decide who it will endorse next month.

It’s still anyone’s guess who the party will back, or even whether members will tap a gubernatorial candidate at all.

In the meantime, endorsements are rolling in from other organizations across the state.

Matt Rourke / AP

After months of deliberation, state House Speaker Mike Turzai has announced he is running for the Republican nomination for Governor.

The Pittsburgh-area lawmaker is now the fourth GOP challenger to Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, who’s seeking a second term.

The field also includes conservative Republican state Senator Scott Wagner, lawyer Laura Ellsworth, and former health care systems consultant Paul Mango.

Turzai has served in the House since 2001, and became speaker two years ago.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Technology alone won’t prepare people to build careers or pursue education in a rapidly changing economy.

That was the message from Google executives and state and local officials who gathered at the company’s Pittsburgh headquarters Thursday to announce new online tools and more than $1 billion in funding for nonprofits that seek to close gaps in education and the labor market nationwide.

Alex Brandon / AP

President Donald Trump took to the midstate Wednesday to pitch his tax plan to a cheering crowd of blue-collar workers and conservative Pennsylvania politicians.

He’s selling the proposal as one that would boost the middle class and small businesses—though many opponents say it would be a better deal for the rich. 

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