State Rep. John Galloway is resigning his seat after being elected district judge. (Photo Galloway Facebook page)
Another special election that will determine control of the Pennsylvania House has been set for Feb. 13 state following Rep. John Galloway’s (D-Bucks) resignation on Thursday, House Speaker Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) announced.
Galloway, who was halfway through his ninth term, was elected to a district judge position in November and announced he would resign from his lower Bucks County seat in mid-December.
The vacancy sets the stage for a special election which House Democrats need to win to hold on to their one-seat majority in the chamber. Galloway’s resignation leaves the House evenly divided 101-101 between Democrats and Republicans.
An even split has occurred several times this year and House Democrats have largely avoided holding voting sessions without the majority, drawing criticism from Republican leaders. McClinton last week said the House would not hold its first voting session until March 18, as repairs are carried out in the House chamber.
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.
Three Democrats have announced they are seeking the state party’s nomination to run for Galloway’s seat:
- Jim Prokopiak, a Pennsbury School Board member and former Falls Township Supervisor;
- Donna Petrecco, Vice Chair of the Bucks County Housing Authority;
- Melanie Bidlingmaier, Galloway’s chief of staff.
So far, no Republican candidate has stepped forward to run. Galloway, whose seat leans Democratic, ran unopposed in 2022 and won reelection by 20 points in his last contested race against Republican challenger Jeanine McGee.
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