GOP Pa. state senators remove Lt. Gov. from chamber after refusing to unseat contested Dem out of session

First term legislators of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are sworn-in at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:09 AM PT – Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Tensions are running high in the Pennsylvania state capitol amid a partisan fight over state Senate election results. On Tuesday, GOP state senators refused to allow Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman to preside over the proceedings.

This came after Fetterman refused to accept a motion from the Republican side to not to seat Democrat incumbent Jim Brewster in the chamber. Brewster’s recent election is currently being audited amid a challenge from Republican candidate Nicole Ziccarelli.

This was the body’s first meeting since the 2020 general election when new members were expected to be sworn in. Brewster was declared the winner of Pennsylvania’s 45th District by state election officials, beating out Ziccarelli by nearly 70 votes.

Ziccarelli challenged the results in federal court while claiming the dates on more than 300 mail-in ballots were not filled out. She believes she would have taken the lead if officials didn’t accept the contested ballots.

GOP state senators said the Pennsylvania Constitution gives them the authority to not seat members if they deem them unqualified for office.

In the meantime, Republican state senators said they will keep the seat empty until they review the election results. They did not disclose how long it will take to go over the challenge.

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