Lindsay Powell, House of Representatives

Lindsay Powell Elected To Pennsylvania House Of Representatives, Democrats Retain State Control

Voters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, elected nonprofit leader and former staffer Lindsay Powell to the House of Representatives, further maintaining a narrow 102-101 Democratic majority in the House.

Powell, 32, defeated Republican Erin Connolly Autenreith to replace former state Rep. Sara Innamorato, who vacated her seat in July. Running on issues of affordable housing, strengthening the local economy and infrastructure, and allocating funds toward community assets, Powell is focused on continuing the work she began as a congressional aide for U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

“I’m grateful. As someone who’s been a lifelong public servant, this is the highest honor of my life, and I am so excited to be able to work on behalf of every single one of us,” she said. “I joke, but truly I’ve had the honor of holding every job in government except this one.”

Though Powell’s victory ensured Democratic control in the House, Pennsylvania’s Legislature remains divided as Republicans maintain a majority in the Senate of 28-22. Issues of stricter gun laws and LGBTQIA+ rights remain unsolved, while a proposed $100 million program for low-income students has caused a two-month standoff between the parties. Majority Leader Rep. Matt Bradford welcomed Powell to the House on behalf of fellow Democratic lawmakers saying, “we look forward to continuing our work as the majority to move our commonwealth forward.”

The House is expected to return to the Capitol next week to work on a state budget that boasts $16 million in funding for both education and human services. The third highest funding total belongs to the state’s correctional institutions, with a whopping $2.2 million allocated. Pennsylvania also spends $700,000 on state law enforcement. Currently, the House has 37 Black representatives, of which 11 are Black women. When Powell’s appointment is certified in October, she will join The Pennsylvania Legislature Black Caucus to advocate for an ‘anti-racist, equitable, restorative, and reform-minded approach to legislation.’