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Schwank wins in PA special election

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March 16, 2011

By Tyler Millhouse

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Pennsylvania held a special election Tuesday to fill a vacancy in the Pennsylvania State Senate. On December 27, State Senator Michael O'Pake (D) passed away due to complications from a bypass operation, leaving his District 11 seat vacant.[1] A March 15 special election was scheduled to fill the vacancy and candidates, Judy Schwank (D) and Larry Medaglia (R), were chosen by their respective parties.[2] On Tuesday, Schwank defeated Megdalia, winning by a 57.6% to 42.3% margin.[3]

Since the seat did not change partisan hands, the senate's partisan balance remains unchanged. Across the nation in 2011, there are 52 special elections in the 27 states that use special elections to fill legislative vacancies. Pennsylvania's District 11 special election is the 36th special election to be held in 2011.

Pennsylvania Senate Partisan Balance

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 19
     Republican Party 30
     Vacancy 1
Total 50

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