Nicole Ziccarelli

State Sen. Jim Brewster

A Democratic state senator in Pennsylvania was sworn in Wednesday to his third full term, a week after the chamber's Republican majority blocked him from taking his Pittsburgh-area seat amid a lawsuit seeking to disqualify ballots that helped him win.

Courtesy of the Committee to Elect Jim Brewster and Friends of Nicole Ziccarelli

Democrat Jim Brewster will be sworn in to represent state Senate District 45 on Wednesday morning, a week later than his peers and one day after a federal judge rejected a Republican attempt to toss out mail-in ballots in the race. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Ranjan said that the ballots were valid under a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling, and that Republican Nicole Ziccarelli had failed to show why he should declare that decision unconstitutional.


A day before Pennsylvania state lawmakers will be sworn in for a new two-year session, state Senate Democrats said Monday that the Republican majority is trying to “steal an election” by objecting to letting a Democratic member take his seat for a fourth term.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

The 2020 general election results were made official in Allegheny County on Monday morning when the Board of Elections voted to certify the results -- even though a court order hours later will require the board to adjust its total.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Election workers in Allegheny County will be able to count 2,349 mail-in ballots that were received by Election Day but weren't dated by voters, according to a new court ruling Wednesday. The decision, and a companion ruling about other ballots called into question, could decide the outcome of a hotly contested state Senate race. Republicans filed an appeal later in the day.

Courtesy of the Committee to Elect Jim Brewster and Friends of Nicole Ziccarelli

State Senator Jim Brewster, of McKeesport, is one of Allegheny County’s last old-school Democrats — friendly to labor, but socially conservative — to serve in Harrisburg. And now, after his district went narrowly for President Donald Trump in 2016, the lawmaker faces a reelection challenge from first-time Republican candidate Nicole Ziccarelli, of Lower Burrell.

A win for Brewster is considered essential to enabling Democrats to flip control of the Pennsylvania legislature.