Chamber Minute

November 2019

Hi, I’m Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber.

Welcome to this month’s Pennsylvania Chamber Minute.

The 2019 General Election is officially in the books.  We were pleased that Megan McCarthy King – who was endorsed by ChamberPAC – was successful in her bid for one of two open state Superior Court seats.  We believe she will bring a fair and balanced perspective to the court.

This election continued some of the key trends that have been taking place across the state over the past several years.  Democrats were successful in picking up key races in the southeast, with the bedroom counties surrounding Philadelphia now all firmly in Democratic control – a stark change from just a decade ago.  Conversely, Republicans continued to find success in the southwestern Pennsylvania region, where counties that were once firmly held by moderate Democrats are turning red.  Many see this year’s election as an indicator of trends that will continue across the Commonwealth into the next year, foreshadowing Pennsylvania’s pivotal role in the upcoming presidential election. 

Also interesting to note, there will be a need for Special Elections to fill three soon-to-be open state House seats, as a result of three incumbent Republican representatives winning election to other positions.  In the southeast, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo will be taking a new position as Bucks County Commissioner next year.  In the western part of the state, Representatives Ted Nesbit and Justin Walsh won their bids to serve as a judge on the Mercer County Common Pleas Court and the Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court respectively.   

The coming year will be significant on the political front, with the state’s entire Congressional delegation, the entire state House and half of the state Senate up for re-election.  On top of that is the presidential election and with Pennsylvania viewed as a critical state for both political parties, there will be no shortage of campaign mailers, commercials and rallies as the candidates battle for the Commonwealth.  The PA Chamber is hard at work to keep the state’s broad-based business community informed and engaged throughout the 2020 election cycle, the results of which could significantly change the Commonwealth’s political landscape for years to come.

Here are your key takeaways from this month’s message:

  • The 2019 General Election continued trends that we’ve seen happening across the Commonwealth over the past several election cycles, with Democrats picking up seats in the southeast region and the Republicans gaining traction in the southwest.
  • Three state House seats will be up for a Special Election next year as a result of incumbent representatives winning their respective bids for other elected offices.
  • The 2020 election cycle has the potential to significantly change Pennsylvania’s political landscape. The PA Chamber is encouraging the state’s business community to state informed and engaged.

Thanks for spending a minute of your time with the Pennsylvania Chamber, the Statewide Voice of Business.