Time will tell how state's legislative bodies mesh in election's wake

The Republican Party may have lost the governor’s seat in Pennsylvania, but it kept a firm hold on the General Assembly.

The party picked up eight seats in the state's House and three in the Senate -- including one Senate seat that had been held by a Democrat previously.

Tony May, a partner at Triad Strategies and a veteran commentator on Pennsylvania politics, said the Republican Party’s victories in Pennsylvania were due largely to superior campaign strategy and management. He also credited part of its win to the party's control over the last round of redistricting.

“The Republicans did well even in districts that appeared, on paper, to favor the Democrats,” he said. 

There is potential for gridlock in the House and Senate, G. Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin and Marshall College Poll and a professor of public affairs at the college, said. He identified liquor sales as a key issue: conservatives in the House want to privatize the state’s liquor sales and those conservatives in the Senate do not.

Charlie Gerow, CEO of Quantum Communications, asserted that Rublicans had a superior message to the Democrats, including touting policies of economic growth that likely resonated with voters, including things like paycheck protection, a measure to prevent government employee unions from taking union dues and political contributions from employee's paychecks.

“When elections are held next week (for leadership in the House and Senate), we’ll get a much clearer picture of how the two legislative bodies will react to the elections,” Gerow said. “Some issues will be much harder to get through than before. It’s possible that issues like paycheck protection would face a governor’s veto.”