Two candidates are vying on Tuesday to represent the 140th District in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives. Democrat Jim Prokopiak and Republican Candace Cabanas are squaring off in a special election triggered by the resignation of John Galloway, a longtime Democratic representative who voters elected as a magistrate judge last November.
Galloway’s resignation tied the House at 101-101. But with the resignation of Republican Rep. Joe Adams, who represented Adams and Pike Counties, on Friday, Democrats have a 101 to 100 majority. House Speaker Joanna McClinton (D-Delaware/Philadelphia) scheduled a special election for that seat on April 23, the same day as the primary.
The Republican and Democratic Bucks County committees then met and voted on their endorsed candidates. Whoever is selected must run again in the April 23 primary and in November to hold on to the seat.
Prokopiak is currently serving on the Pennsbury School Board. A former Falls Township supervisor, he is a lawyer.
“I’m running because for too many people that live in Lower Bucks County, the American Dream seems to get farther and farther away,” said Prokopiak. “You know, the cost of putting a roof over their head, paying their bills, taking care of their children’s education while trying to save for retirement and have health care. It’s a heavy burden and I think we need to do better, and I think we need to start in Harrisburg with that.”
Prokopiak is married with three children.
Cabanas, who has worked in health care and the hospitality industry, said, “I’m running because I understand firsthand the challenges faced by working families,” said Cabanas. “I know how difficult it is to raise a family and make ends meet in this economy, and I know how important it is to fight for the working-class citizens of Lower Bucks County. That’s exactly what I’ll do as your next state representative.
“In Harrisburg, I will be a vocal supporter of our police, firefighters, and first responders. Their daily sacrifices to keep our families safe are invaluable, and they deserve unwavering support and recognition for their heroic efforts.
“Drawing from my experience in home healthcare, I understand the burdens of rising healthcare costs on families. My goal is to fight for policies that make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for every Pennsylvanian,” she said.
Cabanas is also married with three children.
The race has drawn the interest of national and statewide groups. Prokopiak has garnered endorsements from abortion rights and environmental groups and Eric Holder, the former attorney general under President Barack Obama, who is now involved in nationwide redistricting efforts. Prokopiak is a Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Spotlight Candidate, a designation that came with a $50,000 donation to the state House Democratic Caucus.
Cabanas was endorsed by the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, which donated $2,500 to her campaign.
While the Democrats hold a registration edge in the district, both parties hope to get their voters out in the face of a predicted winter storm. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. The 140th District includes Morrisville Borough, Tullytown Borough, Falls Township, and part of Middletown Township.