In a letter to Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley, State Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) requested there not be a special election held in Pennsylvania's 37th District to replace Senator John Pippy (R-Allegheny). Pippy resigned this past weekend after the 2012-2013 budget was signed.
Senator Costa said a special election could not be held until September at the earliest, and it is not in the best interest of the Commonwealth. "The likely two candidates in this special election will be facing off six weeks later in a senatorial race to determine who the senator would be, effective December 1," Costa said.
Estimated costs to hold a special election range from $200,000 to $400,000, a price which Costa felt is too high for only eight scheduled session days before the General Election on November 6.
"I wanted to make sure that the Lieutenant Governor knew my thoughts on that issue, in the event that he was contemplating, deciding, or figuring as to whether or not we should conduct a special election," Costa said.
Pippy opted to not run for re-election, saying he felt it was time for him to move on to the next phase of his life. He is expected to announce his next career step Monday.
Costa added in his letter an election at this time would be distracting to Allegheny and Washington County Election Departments in their preparations for the General Election, which have been compounded by the new voting ID legislation.
The November General Election will pit Republican D. Raja against a still-to-be-named Democrat.
Lieutenant Governor Cawley could not be reached for comment.