Innamorato resigns Pa. House seat ahead of Allegheny County Executive election

Resignation leaves the two parties with a 101-101 tie in the House

By: - July 19, 2023 12:53 pm

Democratic Allegheny County executive candidate Sara Innamorato (Pittsburgh City Paper photo).

PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania State Rep. Sara Innamorato D-Allegheny, the Democrats’ nominee for Allegheny County executive, said Wednesday she is resigning from her House seat. 

The move leaves Democrats with the same number of seats in the House as Republicans, at least until a special election on Sept. 19. House Speaker Joanna McClinton sent a writ of election to Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt and the Allegheny County Elections Board on Wednesday ordering the election to replace Innamorato. 

McClinton praised Innamorato in a statement calling her “an unwavering advocate for her neighbors and a strong voice for all working families. Her tenacity and commitment are admirable, and she will be missed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.”

The change comes as the Legislature has yet to approve a budget for the new fiscal year, and with Republicans holding a majority in the state Senate.

“It has been an honor of a lifetime to serve as your Representative for the 21st Legislative District,” Innamorato said in a statement. “Throughout my time as a Representative, my constituents’ stories inspired and drove my legislative priorities around creating safe and healthy communities where we can all thrive. Together, we’ve done amazing things to improve our region, and I am excited to continue serving our neighbors for years to come.”

Innamorato’s office said in a press release that her decision to resign now, which was done in consultation with Democratic House leadership, will allow her to help transition the next representative into the role. 

The 37-year-old, three-time state representative from the city’s Lawrenceville neighborhood won the nomination for Allegheny County Executive in May, beating Democratic Party stalwarts John Weinstein and Michael Lamb, and continuing a trend of progressive candidates winning their races in western Pennsylvania. She is heavily favored to win in the general election against Republican Joe Rockey. 

Innamorato, along with now- U.S. Rep. Summer Lee, D-12th District, was one of several progressive candidates elected to Pennsylvania state office in the Democrats 2018 “blue wave,” which saw several longtime Democratic incumbents in Allegheny County unseated.

The 21st Legislative District office in Lawrenceville will remain open and staffed to assist constituents. 

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Kim Lyons
Kim Lyons

Kim Lyons is a veteran western Pennsylvania journalist who has covered people and trends in politics and business for local and national publications. Follow her on Threads @social_kimly