Swearing In: Republican Kevin Brobson, who was endorsed by ChamberPAC, the political arm of the PA Chamber, was sworn in as a PA Supreme Court justice last Monday. The oath was administered by Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt, who served with Brobson on Commonwealth Court. Brobson replaces Republican Thomas Saylor, who reached the mandatory judicial retirement age of 75 last year. The court currently has five Democrats and two Republicans.
Senate Leadership: State Sen. Jake Corman, R- Centre, has been re-elected President Pro Tempore for 2022. Corman, who is also seeking the GOP nomination for governor, announced in December that he will not seek re-election to the PA Senate. Corman has represented the 34th state senatorial district since 1998 and has served in various leadership roles since 2009.
Legislative Vacancies: Several House and Senate seats are being vacated and will cause the need for special elections. Former State Sen. John Sabatina Jr., D-Phila, was sworn in last Monday as a Common Pleas Court judge. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has 10 days from the resignation to call a special election for to complete Sabatina’s Senate term, which runs through 2024. Former State Rep. Tara Toohil, R-Luzerne, was sworn in as a judge to the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. Toohil was elected to the Hazleton-based 116th Legislative District in 2011 and was re-elected five times. State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, is expected to become newly sworn-in Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey’s chief of staff effective Feb. 1. Most recently, Wheatley served as the chairman of the House Professional Licensure Committee which oversees the 29 professional boards and commissions that set the standards for the Commonwealth’s workforce. Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler is responsible for scheduling special elections to fill these vacancies.
In related news, Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, also announced last week that he would not seek reelection to his seat after serving 12 terms.