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Monday, November 25, 2019

Democrat's defection underscores Pennsylvania's political realignment

HARRISBURG, Pa. — As Pennsylvania state senators filed through the tight, wood-paneled corridor that leads out of the Senate chamber this week, John Yudichak turned into an equally tight staircase that no Democrat ever takes: down to the Senate Republican majority caucus room.

Yudichak will take those stairs a lot now that he has left the Democratic Party after two decades in the Legislature to become a registered independent who is joining the Senate’s Republican majority caucus.

And while Yudichak described his defection as an effort to empower the political middle, it reverberated swiftly in the Capitol and through the state’s politics as something else.

To many, it dealt a blow to Democratic hopes of capturing the chamber’s majority in next year’s election for the first time in nearly three decades.


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