Democrats expect to win control of State House

Written By Jake Dabkowski

The Pennsylvania Democratic party has announced that they are expected to take control of the state House of Representatives. This is the first time that the party has taken control in 12 years.


The announcement was made during a press conference last week hosted by the Pennsylvania House Democrats. State Representative Leanne Krueger spoke first.


“I am so proud to be here with our leadership team and so many of our colleagues to give you an update on the state of control of the state house,” Krueger said. “The voters have spoken loud and clear, despite the narrative that was proclaimed in the last week. Not only have Democrats done better nationally than expected, but we are proud to say that in addition to Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro and Senator-Elect John Fetterman, we can confidently say that Democrats will win the majority of the state house.”


Krueger acknowledged that there are still votes being counted and races to be called, but affirmed that they are confident in their projection.


“In districts across the commonwealth, the final mail-in ballots, as well as provisional ballots and military ballots, are still being counted as we speak. And we are committed to making sure that every vote is counted. But as the votes are being counted, we are able to make certain projections.”


After announcing that they would be taking the house, Krueger announced that Joanna McClinton, from Philadelphia, will serve as Speaker of the House. McClinton will be the first female speaker in Pennsylvania.


“We can confidently say that the Speaker-Elect of the state House of Representative will be Joanna McClinton,” Krueger said, “So it is my honor and my pleasure to introduce my friend, our leader, and the first woman to ever lead the house of Pennsylvania, Joanna McClinton.”


McClinton spoke about and celebrated the election results, saying that voters rejected “fear.”


“Pennsylvania voters rejected, overwhelmingly, fear,” McClinton said. “Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly rejected hatred, Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly rejected division.


McClinton celebrated the fact that she is the first woman to serve as speaker and criticized the Republican party’s stance on abortion access.


“The fact that here, in the birthplace of our nation, in the birthplace of our democracy, it is much more than symbolic that we will finally have a woman that has the gavel in the Pennsylvania house,” McClinton “At a time where women seem to be under attack in our nation, and I’m not quite sure what the obsession is with what we do when we go to our doctors offices, but at a time where women’s rights were completely on the ballot at a time where we are able to work with our governor, Josh Shapiro, and our Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis, to make an agenda that supports working family’s all across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”


McClinton spoke about her upbringing, and said that she feels it, and the Democratic party were able to empathetically resonate with voters across the state.


“An agenda that supports families like mine, where there was just one parent doing their best for two children, struggling at times and making many sacrifices, but we brought that story of success to many houses across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”


Krueger credits the Democrats’ success in Pennsylvania to a canvassing movement that started last summer.


“We started talking to voters here in Pennsylvania back in the summer of 2021 with a deep canvassing program that most legislative campaign committees don’t run,” Krueger said.


She emphasized that different parts of the states have different political needs and desires, and that the party focused on that.


“We made sure that we ran these campaigns in a district by district fashion, because our commonwealth is diverse,” Krueger said. “Issues are not universal and they vary from community to community across this commonwealth. As Democrats, we believe that our diversity is our strength, and we have been working hard to make sure all of our communities have representation in Harrisburg.”


Krueger went on to praise the candidates for their roles in canvassing.


“Our candidates and our incumbents did an amazing job talking to voters one by one, face t- face, at their doors,” Krueger said, “[They helped] cut through the millions of dollars of negative campaign ads that were meant to stoke people’s fears. “


According to Krueger the party knocked on over one million doors in the state.


Part of the Democrats success has been accredited to both the senatorial race and gubernatorial race, both of which were won by Democrats. A down-ballot effect can occur whenever one party has favorability higher up on the ticket.


John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro, both Democrats, won high profile senatorial and gubernatorial races. Fetterman’s race especially was subject to media attention, and their respective campaigns worked with both state Democrats and federal Democrats.


Fetterman took to twitter to congratulate McClinton, sharing a picture of the two of them.

“Woo hoo! Joanna McClinton will be Pennsylvania’s new Speaker of the House,” Fetterman tweeted. “Congratulations on making history, Madame Speaker.”