Yesterday, Democrat Pam Iovino, a navy veteran and former Veteran’s Affair aide to President George Bush, was elected to represent the 37th Senate District in the Pennsylvania Senate, representing the South Hills suburbs of Pittsburgh, in a highly contested race against Republican D. Raja. Raja conceded last night to Iovino after she won 54% of the vote.
Iovino will succeed former state senator Guy Reschenthaler who resigned in January to serve in Congress. Iovino’s election marks a major party flip from a formerly Republican controlled district that heavily favored President Trump in 2016 to a district that elected a female Democratic candidate.
Democrats are now targeting districts, such as Iovino’s district, as a path to winning a Senate majority. Iovino’s election puts Democrats within three seats of winning a Senate majority. Iovino ran on a platform of union support and abortion rights and had the support of Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.
Another special election will be held on May 21, 2019 in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District for a now vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives between Democrat Marc Friedenberg, a university professor, and Republican state representative Fred Keller following the resignation of former Representative Tom Marino. Tom Marino resigned at the start of his term in favor of a job in the private sector.
Media Resources: Pennsylvania Capital-Star 4/3/19; NBC News 4/2/19