Democrat wins special election in Berks County

A Berks County Senate seat is staying in Democratic hands.

Judy Schwank, a former Berks County commissioner, won a special election Tuesday to serve out the term of the late Sen. Michael O'Pake. She defeated Republican Larry Medaglia, the register of wills.

Schwank won handily by roughly 5,500 votes, but Gov. Corbett may not have done Medaglia any favors when he appeared in Reading to campaign for him two weeks ago. When Corbett found out reporters were there he said he would not speak unless they were removed. Problem was, they were invited. Medaglia and GOP party leaders were embarrassed and the media flap became the next day's headline. 

O'Pake,  the longest serving member of the General Assembly, was halfway through his tenth term when he died in December from complications from heart surgery.

Schwank's victory gives Democrats their 20th seat in the Senate. The Republicans control 30 seats.


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