Capitol Beat

Adams's resignation gives House Democrats slim majority prior to special elections

Democrats have held a one-vote advantage several times this year amid a spate of resignations

State Rep. Joe Adams

State Rep. Joe Adams Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus

The carousel of state House member numbers continues to turn – this time with the resignation of Republican state Rep. Joe Adams. 

Adams officially resigned from his post representing the 139th legislative district, which includes parts of Pike and Wayne counties, Friday morning. Just last month, Adams announced he would not be seeking reelection. 

“It has been an honor to serve you, the citizens of Pike and Wayne counties, in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives,” Adams said in a statement. “Taking care of my family, understandably, must now be my priority. I will continue to work locally to help our community, its organizations, businesses and people.”

His vacancy – now the second open seat in the state house – will require Speaker Joanna McClinton to schedule a special election within 60 days. 

“Joe Adams is proof that longevity in public service is not necessary to be effective for the people you represent,” House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler said in a statement. “During my time serving with Joe, he exemplified the very best in the traditions of representative service and I will greatly miss him as a valued member of the Republican Caucus.”

This latest resignation isn’t the first to shake up the makeup of the state House. With Democrats holding a narrow, one-vote advantage over Republicans in the chamber this legislative season, there have been a number of 101-101 deadlocks due to the resignations of several members. 

The House was briefly split at 101-101 earlier last year when Democrat Sara Innamorato resigned to focus on the general election for Allegheny County executive, and once again after Democrat John Galloway’s resignation, which took place in December as he prepared to take over as a district judge. 

Now, with a Republican resignation taking place before the Feb. 13 special election for Galloway’s seat in Bucks County, Democrats hold a 101-100 majority.