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Pippy's Senate Seat Could Remain Empty

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley will decide whether or not to hold a special election to fill the last few months of John Pippy's term.

The resignation of Pennsylvania Sen. John Pippy, (R-Pennsylvania's 37th Senatorial District) could leave his constituents without a senator for the next six months.

According to state law, if a Senate vacancy happens fewer than seven months before the expiration of that seat's term, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley will have 10 days to decide if there should be a special election or if the seat should remain empty.

Pippy (R-Moon Township), whose 37th District included all of ,  on July 1 after voting on . However, his district and its capital staff members are expected to remain intact to assist constituents.

With fewer than six months until Pippy's term expires, Cawley will have to decide if a special election is "in the public interest," according to state law.

Matthew Keeler, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, said that Cawley will issue a writ of vacancy, but it's not yet known what the lieutenant governor will officially decide.

State Sen. Jay Costa, (D-43rd Senatorial District, including all of ), wrote in a letter on Monday that "(h)olding an election a month or so before a regular election at a significant cost to the taxpayer is not 'in the public interest,'" according to PoliticsPA.

Meanwhile, there are questions regarding which Democrat will face Republican D. Raja in November's general election to fill Pippy's seat. Greg Parks was expected to run against Raja, but Parks dropped out of the race this past week, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Parks' news has fueled speculation that state Rep. Matthew H. Smith (D-Mt. Lebanon) could replace Parks and challenge Raja.

Smith did not return a call to his cellphone on Monday.

UPDATE: Smith said that he is still deciding whether or not to run and would not rule out challenging Raja in the general election.

"People in the community, Democrats and Republicans alike, have approached me about running for state Senate," Smith said in a text message to the ChartiersValley Patch. "I am flattered and appreciative of the support. I will talk with my family and will make a decision after considering it with them."

This article originally appeared on the .

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Robert Edward Healy, III July 03, 2012 at 03:28 PM
UPDATE: Smith said that he is still deciding whether or not to run and would not rule out challenging Raja in the general election. "People in the community, Democrats and Republicans alike, have approached me about running for state Senate," Smith said in a text message to the ChartiersValley Patch. "I am flattered and appreciative of the support. I will talk with my family and will make a decision after considering it with them."
Paula Lim July 04, 2012 at 12:57 PM
As far as I'm concern, that seat has been empty for the past several years. He was on automatic pilot. CorButt wants something....press the "YES" button. He voted in favor of every proposal to aid and abet the gas drilling terrorists 100% of the time. Tax them? No way! allow them to drill anywhere they please? No problem. good-bye and good riddance. Word on the street is that he was offered a good job in the gas drilling industry, ahem, I mean private sector........
JustMe July 05, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Back in 2009, Marcellus Gas was drilling off Rt 519 in Hickory, Pa so how can you be blaming Governor Colbert for this. Drilling and fracking started way before Colbert became Govenor of Pennsylvania.. You need blame Rendell for this. Below is pictures and a blog about Hickory Pa. http://www.donnan.com/Marcellus-Gas_Hickory.htm

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