New lawmakers, including Schmotzer, sworn in

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HARRISBURG -- The state House seat vacated by now Allegheny County controller Chelsa Wagner is filled again, after Democrat Marty Schmotzer of Whitehall was sworn in today.

Mr. Schmotzer, 56, was one of six new lawmakers to take the oath during a ceremony on the House floor. Each of the new legislators was replacing one who resigned at the beginning of the year to take a position in their respective local governments.

"I'm very humbled and honored to serve in the Legislature," he said during a welcome reception, with his wife, Amy, and two daughters nearby. "It's a dream come true."

The new South Hills lawmaker will hold the seat through the remainder of the session, which will wrap up at the end of November. He won the April 24 special election, though he lost to Erin Molchany of Mount Washington in the Democratic primary to compete for the upcoming two-year term.

After the next session, the district is poised to be relocated to the Lehigh Valley under the pending redistricting proposal.

Despite the temporary aspect of his role, Mr. Schmotzer, a former Baldwin-Whitehall school board member, said he's ready to get to work. He's getting a new staff in place in the Harrisburg and district offices, and requested to serve on a handful of committees, including those tasked with transportation, education and health care policies.

"As a resident of the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh, Marty knows the importance of transportation to the state -- mass transit, roads and bridges," said House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont. "We're looking forward to working with Marty, and seeing his leadership on school financing and transportation issues."

The other new legislators are from the eastern portion of the state, including four other Democrats -- three from Philadelphia and one from Montgomery County -- and a Republican from Lehigh County.

breaking - electionspa - state

Harrisburg Bureau Chief Laura Olson: lolson@post-gazette.com or 717-787-4254. First Published May 8, 2012 4:45 PM


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