Politics

PA. Sen. Jim Brewster Not Sworn In As State Senate Dissolves Into Chaos Over Contested Election

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — A local Democratic state senator, certified by the state as receiving the most votes, was denied his seat in the Pennsylvania Senate in a raucous swearing-in day at the state Capital in Harrisburg.

Senate Republicans, who hold the majority, refused to let Pa. Sen. Jim Brewster of McKeesport take the oath of office. When Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, came to Brewster’s defense, the Republicans removed him as presiding officer.

Pounding the gavel, Fetterman declared on Tuesday afternoon, “The Senate will now come to order.”

The day began with Fetterman as president of the Senate, but when Republican senators tried to deny Democrat Brewster, certified with 69 more votes than his Republican challenger, the right to take the oath of office, Fetterman intervened.

“The chair does not find that in order,” the Lt. Governor declared.

So then Republicans voted to remove Fetterman from the chair.

“The ayes are 14 and the nays are 11,” declared President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, a Republican, “and the Lieutenant Governor has been removed from the Senate for the day.”

Fetterman kept repeating, “The chair will not cede the rostrum, the chair will not cede the rostrum, the chair will not cede the rostrum.”

Fetterman would not budge, but Corman stepped in to chair from a different podium while Democrats read out loud the results for Brewster.

When Fetterman called on Brewster to take the oath, Corman refused to allow senators to be sworn in with Brewster present.

“I wanted the rest of the senators with their families here, and in some cases their children here, to be sworn in,” Brewster told KDKA political editor Jon Delano after the event.

“I was disappointed and flabbergasted that they removed the Lieutenant Governor. I think that is a move that went too far,” he said.

Brewster, who says the democratic process was stained by the Senate’s ac… (Read more)