Pennsylvania Democratic Party

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Pennsylvania Democratic Party
Chairman Marcel Groen
Governor Tom Wolf
Lieutenant Governor Michael J. Stack III
House leadership Frank Dermody
(Minority leader)
Senate leadership Jay Costa
(Minority leader)
Headquarters Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Membership  (2014) 4,088,149
Ideology Liberalism
Social liberalism
Political position Center-left
National affiliation Democratic Party
Colors Blue
Seats in the US Senate
1 / 2
Seats in the US House
5 / 18
Seats in the State Senate
20 / 50
Seats in the State House
83 / 203

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the state of Pennsylvania. The party has had strong support in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia area for a long time, having controlled the mayoral office in Philadelphia since 1952, and the Pittsburgh Mayoral office since 1933. As of January 20, 2015 the party holds all five statewide executive offices after electing Tom Wolf governor in the 2014 elections.

Party platforms and ideology

The state Democratic Party has recently made economic factors a major component of its platform, with advocacy for middle class workers of particular prominence. The party has also opposed Republican-sponsored legislation to require a photo ID for voting, asserting that such a requirement would discourage minorities, youth, and those with low-income from voting because they are less likely to possess a state-issued ID. Additionally, the party has committed itself to maintaining the social safety net, and encouraging more transparency in state government.[1]


Pennsylvania Democrat James Buchanan, was elected President in 1856, but did not seek re-election four years later, when Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, was elected President. Buchanan's rise and fall from political prominence coincided with that of the state Democratic Party in Pennsylvania; for much of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the party was largely out of power.[2][3]

Recent history

The party held the governorship from 2003 to 2011 with the election of Ed Rendell in 2002 and his re-election in 2006. The party lost control of the governorship following the election of Republican state Attorney General Tom Corbett in 2010. In the 2014 U.S elections governor Tom Corbett lost reelection to democrat Tom Wolf, the former Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania. The party picked up a Senate seat in 2006 with the election of Bob Casey, Jr. Pennsylvania Democrats also briefly held both of the state's U.S. Senate seats following Arlen Specter's party-switch. However, Congressman Joe Sestak defeated Specter in the May 2010 primary, before losing the fall general election to former Congressman Pat Toomey. On the state legislative level, the party won a majority in the State House in 2006 and again in 2008. The party lost its majority in that chamber in the 2010 election. The State Senate has been controlled by the Republicans for more than a decade, with the balance of power in that chamber presently standing at 30 Republicans, and 20 Democrats.[4]

Democrats made significant gains in voter registration during the 2008 Presidential election, with registered Democrats now outnumbering registered Republicans almost by a 3-2 margin.[5] Democrats now outnumber Republicans in the state of Pennsylvania by 1.2 million voters.

2014 general election

Incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett was defeated for re-election to a second term by Democrat Tom Wolf. This marked the first time an incumbent Governor running for re-election in Pennsylvania lost.[6]

Current Democratic officeholders

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party holds three of the state's five statewide offices and is a minority in both the Pennsylvania State Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Democrats hold one of the state's U.S. Senate seats and 5 of the state's 18 U.S. House seats.



See also


  6. "NBC News Projects: PA's Corbett Ousted by Democrat Tom Wolf". NBC News. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "State Committee Information". Pennsylvania Democratic Party official web site. Pennsylvania Democratic Party. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2010-03-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links