Rumor Mill: Republican PA House Speaker Sam Smith to Retire

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Keystone Politics is hearing from multiple sources that Pennsylvania House Speaker Sam Smith may retire, rather than face re-election against Tea Party challengers in a 2014 re-election bid. In 2012, Smith won his 13th term with 49% of the vote against two near-unknown challengers from his right.

Smith’s district, HD-66, has a solid GOP registration advantage of 55% Republican to 35% Democratic.

Although age and tenure will likely be listed as the reason for Smith’s retirement, Smith’s situation is symptomatic of a growing rift in the Pennsylvania Republican Party—that establishment Republicans are being ousted by far-right conservatives.

On the other hand, compromise-minded Democrats in the general assembly should take notice. Smith regularly crossed the aisle to enact compromise legislation supported by Democrats, most recently the transportation bill.

Smith’s retirement may be a loss to Republicans, but House Democrats may face greater legislative consequences.

Chris Dush, who ran against Smith in the 2012 primary, is the only announced Republican candidate in the district.

About Jake Sternberger

Jake Sternberger was a contributing writer at Keystone Politics from 2011 to 2014.
This entry was posted in Elections, State House.

One Response to Rumor Mill: Republican PA House Speaker Sam Smith to Retire

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