Republican State Senator Nicole Ziccarelli of Pennsylvania just set a very dangerous precedent conveying that as long as you refuse to concede, the winning opponent will not be sworn in. This behavior entailed Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate majority to refuse to seat a Democratic state senator who narrowly won re-election over a challenger who won’t concede. The GOP majority removed Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who was to preside over the ceremony, and president pro temp Jake Corman took over instead and prevented Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny County) from being sworn in. According to Pensylvanias constitution, the incumbent has to concede in order for the new winning candidate to progress onto the process of being sworn in for duty. The dispute stems from Ziccarelli’s disapproval of mail-in ballots being counted as legitimate votes if dates are not included by the voter. Suggesting that the election results for this race should be invalidated due to the lack of uniformity between districts counting votes contingent on the voters inclusion of dates.
Pennsylvania Democrats are now drawing parallels between Senate Republicans’ decision and Trump’s longshot attempts to stay in the White House, with Fetterman arguing there’s “a straight line between the Trumpian approach and what happened today.” Trump has fought to overturn his election losses in Pennsylvania and other states, and despite losing almost all of his court cases, he is now urging Congress to vote down President-elect Joe Biden’s victory when Electoral College votes are counted on Wednesday. Brewster’s campaign is hoping for a decision in federal court within the next week, campaign lawyer Clifford Levine told Forbes. Senate Democrats have proposed seating Brewster on an interim basis while Ziccarelli’s challenges wind their way through court, Fetterman said, but Senate Republicans have rejected the idea, with a spokesperson for Corman arguing it was best to wait.