With Pennsylvania House Republicans scheduled to vote Tuesday for the next session, Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, will not be in the running.
Benninghoff’s decision not to seek re-election to the second highest leadership position in the House of Representatives was first reported by Pennlive.com on Monday. It comes after the GOPs’ poor performance in the general election.
House Republicans lost 13 seats, and although they will enter the 2023-24 session with a majority of 101-100, control is likely to shift to Democrats after special elections for vacant seats next year.
In a statement, Benninghoff said his decision was driven by a desire to spend more time with his family and to focus on the needs of his constituents.
“I’ve listened to retirement speeches again this year, many of which have expressed optimism and joy at the opportunity to spend more time with family,” said Benninghoff. I don’t want to wait until I retire or regret when I’m dead that I wasn’t able to do the same.”
“In the past two and a half years as Majority Leader, I have spent an enormous amount of time on the road attending fundraisers, supporting members in their districts and helping to raise the profile of the House Republican caucus,” Benninghoff continued. “The resignation now opens the door for someone else to take on a position of responsibility and bring new ideas to the group.
“Looking ahead, I plan to devote my time to representing the people of Center and Mifflin counties, mentoring newer members – including a large class of freshmen – and spending time with my children and grandchildren. I’m excited to see what the future will bring,” said Benninghoff.
With Benninghoff’s departure, at least two of the top management positions in the company will change. Appropriations Committee Chairman Stan Saylor, R-York, lost his seat in a primary challenge to Rep.-Elect Wendy Jo Fink, R-York.
Although House Democrats won 102 seats in the Nov. 8 election, one is empty due to Rep. Anthony DeLucas, D-Allegheny, Died in October, too close to the election to have his name replaced on the ballots.
Allegheny County Representatives Austin Davis, who was elected Lieutenant Governor, and Summer Lee, who was elected to the US House of Representatives, must step down from the House of Representatives.
In the days following the election as A majority in the Democratic House of Representatives seemed increasingly likelysenior member of the caucus, Minority Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia, stated her intention to be elected speaker.
Though McClinton and other Democrats have said they’re confident they’ll retain the majority after the election, which is being held in safe Democratic counties, it’s unclear how control of the House of Representatives will be released until the three vacancies are filled.