The GOP President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate refused to seat a Democratic senator-elect. His win was certified and upheld by the Democrat-ruled state Supreme Court.
The President Pro Tempore then tossed the Lt. Governor out of the chamber after he objected vociferously.
The election is going to be contested. Opponent Nicole Ziccarelli asked a federal judge to toss certain mail-in ballots, which would make her the winner by 24 votes.
Republican Nicole Ziccarelli says 311 undated mail-in ballots should not be counted. Counting undated ballots is illegal by their own state rules and should not be accepted.
Democrats in the Senate began protesting and shouting after the Republican majority refused to seat Democrat Sen. Jim Brewster of Allegheny County.
Republicans then voted on a motion to remove Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, as the presiding officer, after Fetterman insisted that Brewster be seated with the other senators.
They then voted through another motion to recognize the election in every Senate contest, except for Brewster’s.
It’s not known how long Republicans will take to review the challenge before voting on it.
Republicans hold 28 of 50 seats, and this seat doesn’t affect the balance of power.
Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has issued this statement on Brewster not being sworn in today. It was the usual blather from a Democrat governor about a Democrat candidate:
“Republicans in Pennsylvania and nationally have spread disinformation and used it to subvert the democratic process. Sen. Jim Brewster rightfully won the 45th Senate District, but Senate Republicans are ignoring the voters in the district and refusing to swear him in as Senator. This is a shameful power grab that disgraces the institution.
“It is simply unethical and undemocratic to leave the district without a voice simply because the Republicans don’t like the outcome of the election. Voters, not Harrisburg politicians, decided this election, and Sen. Brewster is the rightful winner.
“All ballots were counted and certified, and the results are accurate. Sen. Brewster received the most votes in this race and should be sworn in as the Senator for the 45th District. There is no precedent, and no legal rationale, for failing to do so.
“I will do everything in my power to ensure that voters have the final say in elections.”
The state House begins the session with 113 Republican seats and 90 Democratic, although one of those GOP districts is vacant because of the death on Saturday of Westmoreland County Rep. Mike Reese, age 43. He died from a brain aneurysm while suffering from COVID.