Capitol Beat

Midstate PA Senate seats draw attention from Democrats and Republicans alike

Republicans John DiSanto and Mike Regan both say they won’t run for reelection in 2024.

State Sens Mike Regan and John DiSanto

State Sens Mike Regan and John DiSanto The Office of Former Gov. Tom Wolf and Commonwealth Media Services

In separate moves that have already piqued the interest of several potential candidates who may be seeking election to the state’s upper chamber, two GOP state senators who represent different parts of central Pennsylvania won’t be running for office again in 2024. 

Republican state Sens. John DiSanto and Mike Regan each announced over the last month that they will not run for reelection next year. DiSanto said in a statement on Dec. 8 that he will honor his pledge to serve for two terms, while Regan said Tuesday that serving in the state Senate was an “honor” and “unforgettable opportunity.”

“I look forward to traveling with my wonderful wife, Fran, spending time with my four children, watching my youngest son play college football, and continuing to advocate for the issues that are important to me,” Regan said in a letter to constituents. 

With both lawmakers’ terms set to expire at the end of this year, their impending departures have already led a number of interested onlookers to think about jumping into the respective races. 

About a month before DiSanto announced his intent not to seek reelection, Democratic state Rep. Patty Kim entered the fray, announcing her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 15th Senate District, which is currently occupied by DiSanto. During her announcement, Kim promised to be an “energetic champion” for Dauphin County voters if elected to the seat. This week, Alvin Q. Taylor, a Harrisburg pastor, also jumped into the race, promising to make health care and school equity major pillars of his campaign, according to Politics PA.  

In the hours since Regan’s announcement, several others have expressed interest in running for the Senate District 31 seat.

GOP state Rep. and Pennsylvania Freedom Caucus Chair Dawn Keefer, who represents the 92nd House District, which covers part of York County, told ABC 27 on Tuesday that she plans to run for Regan’s current seat in Senate District 31. Meanwhile, state Rep. Sheryl Delozier, a GOP lawmaker representing a portion of Cumberland County in the 88th House District, told PennLive that she “will certainly take a look at the vacancy” created by Regan’s impending exit. 

Republicans currently control the 50-seat Pennsylvania Senate, holding a 28-22 advantage in the chamber. The GOP will look to hold onto that edge in 2024, while Democrats are seeking to narrow that gap.

Both DiSanto and Regan were last reelected in 2020: In the 15th Senate District, DiSanto defeated Democrat George Scott 52% to 48%, while Regan defeated Democrat Shanna Danielson 61% to 40%, according to returns from the Pennsylvania Department of State.