April 3, 2019

A Democratic veteran flipped a seat in Pennsylvania's state house in a special election that was watched closely as a bellwether for the 2020 election. Pam Iovino, 62, beat Republican D. Raja in a race that was expected to come down to be a squeaker. Not even close -- she won by more than 4,000 votes.

This is a big deal to PA residents like me, because our state house used to be relatively moderate. So we're close to dealing the death blow to wingnut control with just three more seats. Via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

The election, which was expected to be close and possibly decided by a few hundred votes, was officially decided when Mr. Raja conceded to Ms. Iovino by phone at around 9:30 p.m. As of 10:10 p.m., she was about 4,000 votes ahead with 94 percent of precincts counted.

At that point, Democrats in Pennsylvania got what they had hoped for: another jolt of momentum heading into the 2020 election cycle, when they’ll now need just three seats to flip the Senate blue and take a chamber in what’s currently a Republican-controlled Legislature.

“This win is a credit to a candidate, a great campaign, and and amazing grassroots volunteer effort,” said David Marshall, executive director of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Campaign Committee. “Continuing in communities like this show a fundamental shift in state politics, and highlight why Democrats have a crystal clear path to pick up three more seats next year and take control of the state Senate.”

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