Tuesday, 10 July 2012 11:55
Republican state Senate candidate D. Raja says state officials should not call a special election for the seat he's seeking.
In a statement issued this morning, Raja said not filling former state Sen. John Pippy's 37th Senatorial District seat for the handful of fall session days would be a prudent decision.
"With only a few months left in Senator Pippy's term, it does not make fiscal sense to have a special election to fill the seat," he said in the statement. "I ask Lt. Governor Cawley to please not have a special election for this seat. The taxpayers can ill afford another election for just a few months of time."
Pippy resigned from his Senate seat moments after his final budget votes on June 30. He announced on Monday that he will be the new CEO of the state's reorganized coal trade group.
Raja was set to be running against Democrat Greg Parks this fall, but he withdrew from the race just before Pippy's resignation. Democratic state Rep. Matt Smith of Mt. Lebanon is considering joining the race.
The Raja camp noted their temporary absence of an opponent in the statement against a special election.
"Raja, nominated in a primary, is the Republican nominee for the seat," the statement read. "Democratic nominee Greg Parks has dropped out of the race. It appears he did so in order to allow party bosses to handpick a new candidate without the voters consent."
UPDATE, 3:40 p.m. -- Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley announced this afternoon that he will not be calling a special election in the district, saying that an extra round of balloting would not be in the public interest":
“After consultations with Governor Corbett and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, I have decided against having a special election prior to the general election,” Cawley said. “When considering all the factors: the logistics of holding an election and certifying the results, the limited number of session days, and since the voters will be casting their ballots in just a few weeks, the cost to taxpayers does not justify holding a special election.”