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WHAT’S AT STAKE: Fundamental Freedoms in Pennsylvania Hinge on Majority-Deciding, Bellwether Special Election in the Pennsylvania House

Press Releases

WASHINGTON — The upcoming, must-win special election in Bucks County, Pennsylvania will shape the landscape of fundamental freedoms in the state and serve as the latest litmus test for future elections in November. DLCC Spotlight candidate Jim Prokopiak is running against Republican Candace Cabanas in a razor-tight race in HD-140 to break the 101 D – 101 R tie in the state House. If Republicans take full control of the legislature on February 13th, they will take Pennsylvania backward. 

Here’s what’s at stake in this special election:

  1. A slim Democratic majority in the House would provide a vital check on the MAGA agenda of the Republican majority in the Senate. In 2022, Pennsylvania Republicans were very close to putting an anti-abortion constitutional amendment on the ballot when they held full legislative control – there’s no doubt they’d try again if they win this special election. Banning abortion is likely just the first item on their MAGA wish list which includes attacks on LGBTQ+ children in schools and undermining common-sense gun safety rules.
  2. Protecting the majority in the House would retain the Speaker’s gavel for Speaker Joanna McClinton and ensure that a Democratic majority can work with Gov. Shapiro can deliver on the progress that Pennsylvanians deserve.
  3. The race will serve as a barometer for future elections in Pennsylvania. Bucks County is known as one of the biggest swing counties in Pennsylvania and the DLCC is looking to build on momentum of winning 5 special elections in the Pennsylvania House in 2023. This election will help tell us where the electorate is and what issues are resonating up and down the ballot as we head into November. 

Everything is on the line in this election, which is why the DLCC invested early into the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus ahead of this special election. The DLCC remains all hands on deck for this pivotal race. 

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Heather Williams issued the following statement:

“The DLCC and our allies are all hands on deck in this must-win race to decide control of the Pennsylvania House. The stakes are high with abortion rights, LGBTQ+ freedom, and gun safety on the line. State legislatures are the true levers of power to protect fundamental freedoms, and this special election fully demonstrates the power of a single seat. The DLCC has defended the Pennsylvania House majority in a series of high-stakes elections in 2023, and we’re prepared to do it again.

“Democratic power and leadership in state legislatures is essential for keeping the extreme agenda of the Republican party in check. Every level of the ballot will be critical in Pennsylvania this year, and the robust operation we are building to support state legislative campaigns will put Democrats in a stronger position as we head into the fall. This is the first important Pennsylvania election of 2024 but won’t be the last.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.