In the short term, former state Sen. Jane Orie's conviction will trigger an Aug. 7 special election to fill more than two years left in her Senate term. Over the long term, her departure may mean the elimination of the North Hills-based seat.
Since there is no time to hold primaries before the special election, groups of Republican and Democratic officials from the district will soon pick nominees for the ballot. Democrats are set to pick theirs Thursday, with Dan DeMarco of Ross currently the only known candidate. Republicans will pick theirs June 16.
The GOP candidate list is not final, but it includes: Allison Park attorney Chris Abernethy; Doug Austin of Austin cleaning products in Mars; Allegheny County Councilman Matt Drozd; former congresswoman Melissa Hart of Bradford Woods; North Hills school director Jeff Meyer; Butler County committee vice chair Robin Redding; and Allegheny County GOP treasurer Karen Shaheen.
The last round of new legislative maps for Pennsylvania considered moving the 40th District across the state to the Poconos and having the 37th District, currently represented by Sen. John Pippy, reach northward to take much of the seat. Local GOP officials argued against that plan, but new maps are not set to be unveiled until the next Legislative Reapportionment Commission meeting Friday afternoon.
First Published June 5, 2012 12:00 AM