The Lead

Rep. Joe Adams resigns, prompting the need for (yet another) special election in the Pa. House

By: - February 9, 2024 3:14 pm
Pennsylvania Capitol Building. May 24, 2022. Harrisburg, Pa. (Photo by Amanda Berg, for the Capital-Star).

(Photo by Amanda Berg for the Capital-Star)

State Rep. Joe Adams (R-Wayne) said Friday he is resigning from his seat in the 139th district, after announcing in January he would not seek reelection. Adams’ resignation appeared to be effective immediately; his website has already been wiped of content with a “vacant” banner on the home page and he no longer appears on the Pa. House GOP member page.

“It has been an honor to serve you, the citizens of Pike and Wayne counties, in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives,” Adams said in a statement. “Taking care of my family, understandably, must now be my priority. I will continue to work locally to help our community, its organizations, businesses and people.”

When he announced he wasn’t seeking another term, Adams said he had received medical news that required him to focus his priority on taking care of his family.

“Joe Adams is proof that longevity in public service is not necessary to be effective for the people you represent,” House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster). said in a statement. “During my time serving with Joe, he exemplified the very best in the traditions of representative service and I will greatly miss him as a valued member of the Republican Caucus. I deeply respect Joe for his devotion to his family and can personally attest to how much he cares for his community and state.”

The vacancy now tips the balance in the state House to Democrats, who hold 101 seats to Republicans’ 100 seats. A special election next Tuesday to replace Rep. John Galloway in Bucks County could flip the balance back to a tie, or give the Democrats a two-seat advantage, depending on who wins. Democrat Jim Prokopiak is facing Republican Candace Cabanas.  Galloway resigned after being elected district judge in November.

House Speaker Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) will now have to set another special election date. In 2023, there were special elections for six seats in the House as Democratic lawmakers won elections to higher offices, resigned amid scandal or died. The most recent was in September when Democrat Lindsay Powell was elected to replace Sara Innamorato in the 21st District; Innamorato had resigned to run for Allegheny County Executive, a race she won in November.

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