HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — With both an outgoing and incoming governor looking on, a more Republican General Assembly took office in Harrisburg Tuesday, with new faces from here, including Pennsylvania Sens. Camera Bartolotta of Washington County and Patrick Stefano of Fayette County.
At the same time, 203 members were sworn in the state House of Representatives, including new local Pennsylvania Reps. Tedd Nesbitt of Grove City, Jason Ortitay of South Fayette, and Ryan Warner of Perryopolis.
For one North Hills representative, it was a very special day.
By a unanimous vote, Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Turzai, a Marshall Republican, was chosen Speaker of the House, the first Allegheny County speaker since the late K. Leroy Irvis served in the 1980s.
With his wife and three sons nearby, Turzai was sworn in by former attorney general, now federal judge Mike Fisher with whom Turzai once practiced law.
“It was during that period of time that I think Speaker Turzai picked up a little bit of the political bug from me,” Judge Fisher told legislators.
A strong Republican partisan, Turzai pledged as Speaker to be fair to all and to walk in others’ shoes.
“I have sometimes forgotten that. In this position, I am telling you, I will never forget it,” said Turzai.
And the new Speaker seemed to signal gridlock was not an option.
“Put that behind us, come back the next day, and shake hands,” he said. “Figure out a way to get positive things done.”
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