Candidates set for PA 140th House District special election

Republicans select Cabanas, Democrats pick Prokopiak for special election that could tip the balance of power in the state House.

By: - December 21, 2023 6:38 pm

Candace Cabanas and Jim Prokopiak are running to fill the legislative seat in House District 140. (Photos submitted)

The race is set for the 140th state House District’s special election to fill the seat left vacant by state Rep. John Galloway (D-Bucks) who resigned on Dec. 14 after he won a district judgeship in November

The Bucks County Republican Executive Committee nominated Falls Township native Candace Cabanas for the open seat, while the Bucks County Democratic Committee selected Jim Prokopiak, a Pennsbury School Board member and former Falls Township Supervisor. 

“I’m running because I understand firsthand the challenges faced by working families,” Cabanas stated in a press release. “I know how difficult it is to raise a family and make ends meet in this economy, and I know how important it is to fight for the working-class citizens of Lower Bucks County.”

In his press release, Prokopiak stated: “The people of Lower Bucks County need a voice in Harrisburg who is willing to fight for them. For too many people, the American dream is drifting further away-housing and healthcare are too expensive, and many jobs don’t provide for those basic needs. Our schools are not properly funded, and college and technical training are too expensive.”

According to Levittown Now, Cabanas bested fellow Falls Township resident Joan Graves for the Republican Party nomination. Prokopiak earned the Democratic Party nod over Donna Petrecco, vice chair of the Bucks County Housing Authority; and Melanie Bidlingmaier, former state Rep. John Galloway’s chief of staff.

House Speaker Joanna McClinton announced that the special election will take place on Feb. 13 to replace Galloway, who had represented the Philadelphia suburban district since 2007. 

The special election is expected to garner statewide interest as the state House is currently divided at 101-101 between Democrats and Republicans, following Galloway’s resignation. 

Bucks County is considered to be the only purple county of the Philadelphia suburbs, although the 140th state House District leans Democratic. 

Galloway ran unopposed in his most recent bid for the seat in 2022, and defeated Republican challenger Jeanine McGee by 20 points in 2020.

While the House is likely to start 2024 evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, the House is not scheduled to hold its first voting session until March 18, due to repairs being made in the House chamber.

In the press release announcing her nomination, Cabanas said she will be a vocal supporter of police, firefighters, and other first responders. She also pointed to her experience in home health care as proof she understands the importance of fighting for policies that would make quality healthcare accessible and affordable. Cabanas also detailed her support for securing education funding for the district.

Prokopiak pointed to his experience solving problems as a school board member and former Falls Township Township supervisor as proof he can solve problems in the state House. If elected, he said he would work with the Democratic majority to lower the cost of living, keep people in their homes, fully fund public schools, and protect a woman’s right to choose.

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John Cole
John Cole

John Cole is a journalist based in Philadelphia. He's worked for various outlets such as The Northeast Times, PoliticsPA, and PCN. In these previous roles, he covered a wide range of topics from local civic association meetings to races across the commonwealth. He earned a degree in journalism from Temple University.

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