Another Pa. House member announces his resignation

A state lawmaker from northeastern Pennsylvania who was serving in his first term in the state House of Representatives submitted his resignation on Friday.

Rep. Joe Adams, R-Pike and Wayne counties, notified House Speaker Joanna McClinton he was stepping away from his 139th legislative district seat, effective immediately. His letter did not cite a specific reason but indicated it had to do with family matters.

“It has been an honor to serve you, the citizens of Pike and Wayne counties, in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Taking care of my family, understandably, must now be my priority. I will continue to work locally to help our community, its organizations, businesses and people,” he stated.

Adams, a former school district administrator and county commissioner, will require McClinton to schedule a special election to fill that vacancy in the 203-member chamber that has already had to hold seven special elections in the last 13 months to fill vacancies that arose.

The latest one that will determine whether Democrats will remain the chamber’s majority party will be held on Tuesday. This highly coveted seat that left the chamber with a 101-101 partisan divide was vacated in December with the resignation of Bucks County Rep. John Galloway, a Democrat who resigned to become a magisterial district judge.

“Joe Adams is proof that longevity in public service is not necessary to be effective for the people you represent,” said House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster County, in a statement. “During my time serving with Joe, he exemplified the very best in the traditions of representative service and I will greatly miss him as a valued member of the Republican Caucus. I deeply respect Joe for his devotion to his family and can personally attest to how much he cares for his community and state.”

Other vacancies that have occurred in the House during the 2023-24 session resulted from a death, five who won other elective offices, and one who resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal. Despite that upheaval, Democrats have managed to remain in the majority after the chamber has been in Republican control for the past 12 years

Adams’ departure puts the partisan divide in the chamber at 101-100.

Jan Murphy may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on X at @JanMurphy.

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