HARRISBURG -- Republican Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley has scheduled a special election for Aug. 7 to replace former Republican state Sen. Jane Orie.
Ms. Orie, 50, of McCandless, resigned from her legislative seat on Monday. She awaits sentencing, after an Allegheny County jury found her guilty of 14 criminal counts for misusing her legislative staff to do campaign work.
As the presiding officer in the Senate, the lieutenant governor is authorized to decide when special elections take place. The main requirement is that it must be more than 60 days after the vacancy occurs.
"After consultations with the governor and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, I decided to set an early date so that the citizens of that Senate district could have representation as soon as possible," Mr. Cawley said in a statement. "They are entitled to their voice in the Senate."
Ms. Orie's North Hills seat stretches from the northern Pittsburgh suburbs into Butler County. Local officials from both parties will pick their nominees for the special election.
About 10 Republicans are interested in the seat, including former U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart of Bradford Woods, who previously represented the 40th District. Dan DeMarco of Ross, who lost to Ms. Orie in 2010, is thought to be the main candidate on the Democratic side.
Harrisburg Bureau Chief Laura Olson: email@example.com or 717-787-4254. First Published May 25, 2012 10:45 AM