Hutchinson And James Sworn Into Office In Harrisburg

January 2, 2013
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25 new state Senators and 201 state Representatives were sworn into office in ceremonies at the state Capitol on New Years Day.

Among those officially taking office were two Oil City residents.

Scott Hutchinson, 10-term Representative from the 64th Legislative District, was sworn in for his initial term in the state Senate, representing the 21st District.  Hutchinson replaces Senator Mary Jo White, also from Venango County, who had served in the Senate post for 16 years before retiring.

Lee James took the oath of office to replace Hutchinson in the 64th district state House seat.  James will be serving for the first time in an elected state legislative post.

As a result of the November elections, Republicans lost three Senate seats to the Democrats.  The G-O-P now holds a 27-23 advantage.

Should Democrats retain two seats that will be filled by special elections, including the seat of Eugene DePasquale who was elected state Auditor General, the House would remain unchanged with 111 Republicans and 92 Democrats.

Also Tuesday, certified election returns were confirmed in favor of DePasquale, Attorney general-elect Kathleen Kane and state Treasurer Rob McCord, who was re-elected.  Kane, DePasquale and McCord will be sworn in on January 15.

Combined, the freshman class in the state legislature includes 33 new members, 22 Democrats and 11 Republicans.

It is the first time in 22 years that lawmakers have been sworn in on a holiday.  While the day was largely ceremonial, both chambers approved a set of rules to govern their upcoming two-year legislative session.

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