State Legislative Caucuses Select Leadership Teams as Control of the House Remains Up in the Air

The four legislative caucuses have selected their leadership teams for the upcoming 2023-24 legislative session, however which party will control the state House at the beginning of the new year has yet to be determined.

In the November General Election, Democrats won a 102 to 101 majority in the House. However, that number will drop to 99 due to the death of Rep. Tony DeLuca, as well as the impending resignations of Reps. Summer Lee and Austin Davis following their elections to Congress and the Lt. Governor’s office respectively. Lee is expected to step down prior to the General Assembly’s swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 3 as she is scheduled to be sworn into Congress at the same time. (Davis will take the oath of Lt. Governor later in January.) This will result in the unprecedented dynamic of Democrats having nominally won the majority, but Republicans having more sitting members on swearing-in day. Adding to the chaotic situation is the fact that there must be a minimum of 60 days between when the Speaker of the House calls for a Special Election and the election taking place. (As an aside, all three impending vacancies are considered to be “safe” Democratic seats.)

On the last day of the 2021-22 legislative session, current House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, called for a Special Election for the DeLuca seat to take place on February 7. House Democratic leadership challenged Cutler’s authority to call for a Special Election for a new session in which the position of speaker has yet to be selected (despite there being past precedent). You can read more about how these unusual circumstances are playing out in this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article and this Johnstown Tribune-Democrat article.

Despite the turmoil in the lower chamber, the four caucuses did finalize their respective leadership teams.  In the Senate, Republican Sen. Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, made history when she was selected by her colleagues to serve as President Pro Tempore – the highest-ranking officer of the Senate – in the upcoming legislative session. Republicans will continue to hold the majority, however they will be operating with one less member at the start of session. Sen. John Gordner, R-Columbia, stepped down from his seat to accept a new role as counsel to Ward. The Special Election to fill his seat will take place on January 31.

The Senate caucus leaders for the 2023-24 session are:


Leader: Joe Pittman

Whip: Ryan Aument

Appropriations Chair: Scott Martin

Caucus Chair: Kristin Phillips-Hill

Caucus Secretary: Camera Bartolotta


Leader: Jay Costa

Whip: Tina Tartaglione

Appropriations Chair: Tim Kearney

Caucus Chair: Wayne Fontana

Caucus Secretary: Maria Collett

Administrator: Judy Schwank

The House caucus leaders for the 2023-24 session are:


Leader: Bryan Cutler

Whip: Tim O’Neal

Appropriations Chair: Seth Grove

Caucus Chair: George Dunbar

Caucus Administrator: Sheryl Delozier

Caucus Secretary: Martina White

Policy Committee Chair: Josh Kail


Leader: Joanna McClinton

Whip: Jordan Harris

Appropriations Chair: Matt Bradford

Caucus Chair: Dan Miller

Caucus Administrator: Mike Schlossberg

Caucus Secretary: Tina Davis

Policy Committee Chair: Ryan Bizzarro 

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