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07/18/2024 11:06 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: July 12, 2023 02:46 PM
From: Representative Russ Diamond
To: All House members
Subject: Running for Two Offices at the Same Time
In the near future I will be introducing legislation to prohibit candidates from appearing on the ballot for more than one public office during any given election.
Last year, two individuals were elected to the House of Representatives but were also elected to higher office at the same election. By choosing to accept the higher offices, those two legislative seats were left vacant, requiring an expensive special election to fill them. Those two vacancies also contributed to the unfortunate months-long delay in organizing the House of Representatives and tending to the business of governing the Commonwealth.
In full disclosure, I have appeared on the ballot for more than one public office twice – in the 2004 general election and the 2022 primary election. While assuming the role of candidate, there seemed to be nothing wrong with the practice. I was wrong about that. As witnessed earlier this year, a successful run for two different offices can not only leave certain constituencies without representation, but can also contribute to chaos in governance.
To be precise, my legislation would require candidates to affirm that they have not submitted paperwork to file for ballot access for another public office when submitting their petitions. As such, no individual will be prevented from testing the waters, seeking public or party support, or even circulating petitions for more than one public office. The critical decision point will only come when petition filing deadlines arrive.
This legislation will still allow those seeking public office to simultaneously seek state or county party offices.
In a Commonwealth of 13 million people, there are plenty of qualified individuals to fill every slot on the ballot without needing certain individuals to “double up” for multiple offices. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to prevent unnecessary special elections and help protect the continuity of governance.

Introduced as HB1709