Delaware Valley Democrat state Rep. Kevin Boyle may have been on the run from the cops Wednesday, but that didn’t stop him from casting votes to keep his party in the majority.

“You’ve got an individual who has an arrest warrant out, who is either a fugitive from justice and waiting to be processed, or they are in communication about his votes and are harboring him and should indicate that to law enforcement,” said an astonished House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster).

Speaker Rep. Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) controls the House, the slimmest of majorities. And so rather than removing Boyle from his duties (representing part of northeast Philadelphia), she called a meeting of a committee that had never convened before to cast a party-line vote declaring Boyle eligible to vote by proxy.

That’s how, even though an arrest warrant had been issued alleging Boyle had violated a protection from abuse order and had not turned himself in to the police, he was still (remotely) participating in the democratic process.

Or rather, House Republicans complained, the “Democratic” process.

“It’s just a further abuse for them to maintain their majority and ensure they have votes,” Cutler said. “The idea of a fugitive from law or somebody sitting in jail, whose whereabouts are completely unknown,  being able to continue to cast votes, is wrong.”

“This is purely again political for the Democrats to remain in power,” added Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia). “And what they’re doing with it is basically causing democracy to die today.”

Aizaz Gill, a Republican running for Boyle’s seat, said, “While Rep. Boyle should resign and seek the help he needs, the bigger issue today is the House Democrats allowing a proxy vote on the House floor by someone never elected by the people of the Northeast. This is an unprecedented action designed solely to maintain political power and is an affront to democracy and the people of the 172nd District. It shows everything that is wrong with our system.”

Patrick Gushue, who is also running in the Republican primary, said, “I sincerely hope state Rep. Kevin Boyle receives all the help he may need. This unfortunate incident further highlights the importance of April 23rd’s Republican primary election.

“Republican voters of the 172nd District hold the power to make a real change, and I encourage everyone to to have their voice heard by casting a vote this Tuesday,” added Gushue.

Boyle, who is seeking his eighth term in the state House, is the brother of Congressman Brendon Boyle. Brandon Boyle did not respond to requests for comment.

He’s being challenged in the April 23 Democratic primary by Sean Dougherty, a lawyer and the son of state Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty.

“I hope that Rep. Boyle seeks and receives the help and treatment that he needs for himself and his family,” Dougherty said Wednesday. “Mental health does not have a party affiliation.”

Boyle has a history of mental illness, and this isn’t the first time he’s been crosswise with the law.

In 2021, Republicans called for Boyle to resign after he was charged with violating a protection from abuse order and harassment.

On Feb. 8, Rockledge Police investigated Boyle after an incident at the Malt House on Huntingdon Pike where he allegedly threatened a female bartender. A bouncer removed him from the taproom, and he walked away.  The bartender declined to press charges, according to Rockledge Police Chief John Gallagher.

Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington), the House Republican Whip, called the situation “egregious.”

“Regardless of the challenges Rep. Boyle is facing at the current moment, we all know he’s not representing anybody. He is literally on the run from a warrant that’s been issued for his arrest, or he’s literally sitting in jail. Either of those should disqualify him from voting in the current moment,” O’Neal. said.

“This entire thing could have been avoided by simply putting him on leave,” Cutler said.