Democrats flipped another seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday night, bringing the total number of state legislative flips to 41 since Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Helen Tai, the Democratic candidate running in the Bucks County Pennsylvania House District 178, defeated Republican Wendi Thomas on Tuesday night. The election was called after Republican Scott Petri resigned to work as the executive director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority. In the district, President Trump narrowly won 50-47, but underperformed 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney who won 56-43 against former president Obama.
In a sign of the growing importance of these local races to national Democrats, former vice president Joe Biden weighed in with his endorsement for Tai this month. Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, whose PAC Win Back Your State is focusing on these down-ballot races, also endorsed Tai and he recently made an in-person appearance at her campaign office.
That combination of endorsements may have helped in another state legislative contest earlier this year in Florida, where Democrat Margaret Good easily flipped a Florida seat.
Since Trump’s inauguration, Democrats and specifically the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee have been working to capitalize on enthusiasm for various smaller contests to influence change at a local level as well as provide a metric for the upcoming midterm elections.