Lehigh Med Summer 2019 - 26


Meeting Great
Expectations -
your Legislative
retired from PAMED
Senior Vice President for Political Affairs
Originally published in the Delaware and Lehigh County Medical Society publications,
Delaware County Medicine & Health and Lehigh County Health & Medicine


he first months of 2019 have been filled with an unusually
high level of political activity for a year in which only
municipal elections are normally held. Generally it is
a time period when first term legislators, newly elected
caucus leaders and first time committee chairs are settling into their
comfort zone. However, the winter and spring months of this year
have instead seen an escalation of political intensity as a series of
seven special elections were held to fill seven vacant legislative seats
in districts across the Commonwealth.

a need to replace Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich who died
before the 2018 General Election but was none the less re-elected
to his House seat posthumously.

After the May 21st date of the Pennsylvania primary election,
three new State Representatives, three new State Senators and one
new Congressman will have been selected and will be sworn into
office. And in typical Pennsylvania political fashion of late, the
reasons for several of the special elections are noteworthy. The
Congressional seat of Tom Marino was vacant due to his resignation
for personal reasons, while State Senators Rich Alloway and Don
White resigned for the same reason. The third State Senate special
election was required when Guy Reschenthaler was elected to the
Congress. Things were somewhat different in the House. Special
elections there were held to fill the seats of two members facing
legal issues, Brian Ellis and Vanessa Lowery-Brown. There was also

With those special elections in the background, Pennsylvania
physicians have never had a better time to meet with their own
state and federal legislators and begin the process of building a
productive advocacy relationship.

26 Lehigh County Health & Medicine | SUMMER 2019

The result of each special election is considered an important factor
in measuring the potential for a shift in the balance of political power
for the respective chambers, so to the party leaders and political
analysts these are critically important. Words like momentum and
karma are regularly mentioned.

Legislators at every level react to the stimuli around them and
they are especially interested in hearing from their constituents.
Physicians who provide health care to their constituents and who
live in their district are uniquely positioned to influence health
care public policy. Generally their views are both sought after
and respected. A legislative "district" meeting is the best way to
achieve that effect.


Lehigh Med Summer 2019

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