Republicans in Pennsylvania’s state Senate restored their 29-21 majority over Democrats on Wednesday, when GOP senator-elect Dave Arnold was sworn in to represent the 48th Senate District.
Arnold, who previously served as Lebanon County’s elected district attorney, won his seat in a Jan. 14 special election. The district includes all of Lebanon and parts of Dauphin and York Counties.
Arnold received 65 percent of the vote in that race, handily defeating his Democratic opponent, history professor Michael Schroeder.
The decisive victory was consistent with past outcomes in the 48th District, where Republicans hold a sizable voter registration over Democrats.
Arnold’s seat was last held by former senator Mike Folmer, a Republican who resigned his seat in September while facing child pornography charges.
Arnold, who underwent surgery this fall to remove a malignant brain tumor, took the oath of office in a short ceremony on the Senate floor Wednesday.
In attendance was former Senate Majority Leader David J. “Chip” Brightbill, a fellow Lebanon County Republican.
Brightbill lost a reelection campaign to Folmer in the 2006 Republican primary, one year after state lawmakers outraged the public by approving a massive legislative pay raise that they were later forced to repeal.
Arnold is a self-described “consistent conservative” who supports abortion restrictions and low taxes.
Arnold’s swearing-in brings the Senate’s Republican caucus to 29 members — a tally that includes one Independent lawmaker, Sen. John Yudichak, of Luzerne County.