Pennsylvania Democrats’ State House Majority Hinges on Electing Jim Prokopiak

His opponent, Candace Cabanas, isn’t advertising to voters that she is a Republican and won’t share her personal views on abortion (which the PA GOP attempted to ban through the state constitution via an amendment).
Democrat Jim Prokopiak and Republican Candace Cabanas.

Tuesday’s special election in Pennsylvania’s 140th District between Democrat Jim Prokopiak and Republican Candice Cabanas will determine more than who will provide representation to local constituents, it will determine whether Democrats retain control of the state House.
The chamber was a 101-101 tie before a Republican state legislator resigned on Friday in a safe Republican district, so this race will still effectively determine who maintains control of the legislative body moving forward. Describing Bucks County as a “perennial bellwether,” Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Heather Williams sees the special election as one of the most important races of the year.

“The stakes of Tuesday’s election truly couldn’t be higher. We know the future of abortion access and fundamental rights in Pennsylvania are on the line,” Williams said prior to introducing Prokopiak in a Zoom press conference on Friday. “If we flash back to 2022, when Republicans controlled both state chambers, Pennsylvanians were living under a grim reality. Republicans were dead set on circumventing the Democratic governor to legislate Pennsylvania backward.”

Prokopiak, a 30-year resident of Levittown, served as a Falls Township Supervisor and currently sits on the Pennsbury School Board.

“For most of my adult life, I’ve been fighting to make Lower Bucks County a better place to live, work, and raise a family. I decided to run because for too many in Pennsylvania and in Lower Bucks County, the American dream seems harder and harder to achieve,” Prokopiak said. “We need to create livable wages, fully fund our public education system, create attainable housing, and protect women’s reproductive rights.”

READ: Planned Parenthood PA PAC Backs Jim Prokopiak in State House Special Election

He’s also concerned with the right-wing extremism and toxic culture wars Republicans have used to attack public education.

“As a Pennsylvania [school] board member, I’ve seen Republican extremism firsthand. I first ran in 2021 at the height of the so-called parental rights movement,” Prokopiak said. “When those people were elected, they brought culture wars to our schools, tried to whitewash history, and every day worked to undermine public education.”

The Democratic candidate added that he cannot stand idly by and allow his opponent to help advance an extremist PA-GOP agenda in Harrisburg. The MAGA/extremist label is something The Washington Post reported that Cabanas has been trying to run away from, going so far as not mentioning she is a Republican on her campaign mailers and website and refusing to share with voters her personal views on abortion.

“This race isn’t just about me,” he said. “It’s about the future of Pennsylvania. We need to bring back common sense to Harrisburg. My district is a working-class suburban district, and they want what’s best for their families and their community.”

Prokopiak noted that if the Republicans regain control, Pennsylvanians should expect a full MAGA agenda to be enacted in the state House. “Women’s reproductive rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, and the right to collectively bargain will all be at risk.”

The 140th House District in Pennsylvania has been represented by Democrat John Galloway since 2006. In November, Galloway ran for and won the race for district judge and resigned afterward.

Pennsylvania’s 140th House District comprises 33 voter precincts located in Bristol, parts of Bristol Township, Falls Township, parts of Middletown Township, parts of Morrisville and Tullytown.

Polls will be open on February 13 from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Vote-by-Mail ballots may be dropped off at the Bucks County Board of Elections located at 55 E Court St, Doylestown before 8 p.m.

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Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens is a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of publications, including The Reporter. An avid collector of all things vintage, she resides in the Philadelphia area.

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