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April 19, 2024 6:59 pm

Local News

Prokopiak projected winner of special election in Pa. 140th House District

(Credit: Prokopiak campaign)

John Cole, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
February 13, 2024

LEVITTOWN — Jim Prokopiak is the projected winner of the special election for the state House’s 140th District, beating Republican Candace Cabanas, and adding to the Democrats narrow majority in the chamber. The Associated Press called the race for Prokopiak shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Prokopiak thanked voters Tuesday night and said he was excited to get to work.

“Tonight, we were able to push forward Pennsylvania,” Prokopiak said at an election night party at Five Four Bar and Grill in Levittown. “It’s not about me, it’s about everyone in this room who have done the work for the last year and will continue to do the work.” He said as a member of the House he would fight for livable wages, affordable housing, fully funding education and reproductive rights for women.

“For over a decade, I fought for the people here of Lower Bucks County,” Prokopiak said. “And I’ll continue to do that in Harrisburg.”

 Jim Prokopiak celebrates on special election night Feb. 13, 2024 with Joanna McClinton and other Democrats. (Capital-Star photo by John Cole)

Gov. Josh Shapiro posted a congratulatory message on social media Tuesday night. “I’ll see you in Harrisburg as we work to cut costs, invest in our future, and defend our fundamental freedoms. Let’s go get stuff done,” Shapiro tweeted.

After Prokopiak is sworn into office, Democrats will have a 102-100 margin in the state House, as he fills the seat previously held by longtime Democratic state Rep. John Galloway, who resigned in December after being elected district judge. 

However, one seat will remain vacant after GOP state Rep. Joe Adams (R-Wayne) resigned from his seat on Friday. House Speaker Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) announced that the special election for that seat will be on April 23, the same day as the Pennsylvania primary election. 

Democrats were heavily invested in the Lower Bucks County race, which drew national attention for its high stakes.

“Donald Trump lost big tonight in an important county in a critical battleground state as his unpopular extreme MAGA agenda continues to be rejected by voters,” Biden-Harris 2024 Campaign Manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement Tuesday. “Election after election, we’re seeing real momentum behind the Biden-Harris agenda, and with personal freedoms and democracy itself at stake this November, we’re confident Pennsylvania will again reject extremism and send Joe Biden back to the White House.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) announced a $50,000 investment into the Pennsylvania’s House Democratic Caucus on Jan. 30.

“This victory is a promising sign for Democrats up and down the ballot this year – it’s clear that momentum is on our side,” DLCC president Heather Williams said Tuesday. “Now, our focus turns to defending the Pennsylvania House and making gains in the Pennsylvania Senate in November.”

 Signs for candidates Jim Prokopiak and Candace Cabanas are seen outside a polling place in Falls Township, Feb. 13, 2024 (Photo by Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com).

Tuesday’s special election was the first time since 2006 that voters in the lower Bucks County state House District did not see Galloway’s name on the ballot. Galloway ran unopposed for reelection in 2022 and defeated GOP challenger Jeanine McGee by 20 points in 2020. 

Although Galloway had secured comfortable victories in recent reelection bids, Democrats didn’t take the race for the open seat for granted. 

“We are fired up and excited because it was in November of 2022 that voters all across Pennsylvania decided they wanted to see a Democratic majority,” McClinton said Tuesday at the campaign’s victory party.  “For the sixth time, the voters in the 140th Legislative District have reaffirmed our Democratic majority.”

Democrats hold a registration advantage in the district and Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by 10 points there in 2020, however, GOP U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick won the district in 2022. 

Prokopiak is a licensed attorney and serves on the Pennsbury School Board. He previously served as a Falls Township Supervisor from 2002 to 2009.

Cabanas is a restaurant server and is involved with the Bucks County Republican Committee. She previously worked in a retirement community and is originally from Lancaster County.

Prokopiak was supported by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and abortion rights groups in the race, while Cabanas received endorsements from multiple local Republican elected officials and the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association (PMA).

Prokopiak will serve out the remainder of Galloway’s term, but will be on the ballot once again in April for the Democratic Party primary. Cabanas is the only Republican seeking the party’s nomination in the primary, setting up a rematch in November.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.