Lindsay Powell sworn in as District 21 rep, giving Pa. Dems a one-vote House majority

The Allegheny County Elections Board certified results Monday morning

By: - October 2, 2023 12:41 pm

State Rep. Lindsay Powell (D-21st District) was sworn in on Monday Oct. 2, 2023 (Photo courtesy Powell’s office)

Lindsay Powell took office as state representative of the 21st District on Monday, making official the results of a Sept. 19 special election that tipped the balance of power in the Pennsylvania House back to Democrats.

“I’m honored and excited to hit the ground running in my new role as a state representative,” Powell said in a statement Monday afternoon. “I’ve collaborated with some of the individuals who I’m pleased to now call colleagues and look forward to working with them to enhance the lives of all Pennsylvanians.”

The Allegheny County Board of Elections on Monday unanimously certified the election.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Powell had 7,318 votes to Republican Erin Autenreith’s 3,848 votes, according to results on the county elections division website. Turnout for the election in the heavily Democratic district was just 23.5 percent. 

The special election was held to replace three-term representative Sara Innamorato, who resigned in August to focus on her campaign for Allegheny County executive. She’ll face off against Republican opponent Joe Rockey in the general election next month. The two are slated to meet in a second debate on Oct. 3.

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

Powell served on the staffs of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and was the city of Pittsburgh’s assistant chief of staff for nearly five years. Most recently, Powell was director of workforce strategies for InnovatePGH. 

Powell’s win gives House Democrats a 102-101 majority over Republicans. She is the first person of color to represent District 21, which includes Millvale, Etna, Shaler and Reserve townships and part of the city of Pittsburgh. Her swearing-in raises the number of women in Pennsylvania’s House to 64. 

This story has been updated with the details of Powell’s swearing-in in Harrisburg.

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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