NEW UPDATE - House Democrats announced their leadership team for the 2013-2014 session. Re-elected to the top posts were minority leader Frank Dermody, whip Mike Hanna of Clinton County, Rep. Mike Sturla of Lancaster County was re-elected policy chairman, as was Rep. Dan Frankel of Allegheny County as caucus chairman and Rep. Joe Markosek of Allegheny County as appropriations chairman. Newly elected were Rep. Ron Waters of Philadelphia as caucus administrator and Rep. Neal Goodman of Schuylkill as caucus secretary.
UPDATE - House Republicans have elected their new leadership team. House Speaker Sam Smith of Jefferson County, Majority leader Mike Turzai of Allegheny, Whip Stan Saylor, caucus chairman Rep. Sandra Major of Susquehanna, policy chairman Dave Reed, caucus administrator Rep. Dick Stevenson of Mercer County, appropriations chairman Bill Adolph of Delaware County, all were uncontested. The race for caucus secretary was contested (we don't know yet by whom) but Rep. Mike Vereb of Montgomery County held onto the position.
Ok. So maybe it's just a lower level leadership post in the minority party, but Philly is poised to represent again in the state House, yo.
Today the state House and Senate return for their brief post-election - also known as lame duck - session. As has been the policy for several years no bills are to be voted on (to prevent any nefarious legislation influenced by outgoing lawmakers).
Instead, the House and Senate will elect their leaders for the 2013-2014 session. We hear that the top leaders in both parties in both chambers are safe.
The big news appears to be that Rep. Ron Waters of Philadelphia, who was first elected to the House in 1999, is running for Democratic Caucus Secretary in this afternoon’s leadership election. He's a candidate for an open seat that was held by retiring state Rep. Jennifer Mann of Lehigh County.
Philadelphia hasn't had a spot in House leadership in either party since 2010 when longtime House Appropriations chairman Dwight Evans was ousted by Rep. Joe Markosek (D., Allegheny).
Before that, now City Councilman Dennis O'Brien, a Republican, held the House Speaker's post in 2007-2008. Of course, the leading Philadelphia House powerbroker of the 21st century, John Perzel, who served as both speaker and House Majority leader, is now behind bars, serving time for his role in the Harrisburg corruption scandal.
Elections are held behind closed doors. We'll let you know when we see the white smoke wafting from the Capitol windows.
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