House Leadership Elections 2018

The House of Representatives returned to Harrisburg today to elect new members of leadership in both the Republican and Democratic Caucus for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session.  Due to retirements, vacancies existed in the following leadership positions:

  • Majority Leader:  Due to the retirement of Representative Dave Reed
  • Democratic Whip:  Due to the retirement of Representative Mike Hanna
  • Democratic Chair of the House Appropriations Committee:  Due to the retirement of Representative Joe Markosek.

The Republicans elected their Leadership this morning and the Democrats elected their Leadership this evening. Below is a chart of the 2019-2020 Leadership team and who currently holds those positions. We sent the Republican list earlier and have now included the Democrats.

I have attached for your review, brief biographies of the Democratic members who have been elected to these positions for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session (as you received the Republican members in our previous update).
Elected Members of House Democratic Leadership

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Richard Gmerek []

Senate Elections 2018

The Senate returned to Harrisburg to effectively wrap up legislative activities for the 2017-2018 Legislative Session, which officially ends on November 30.  Unlike the activities in the House of Representatives yesterday, the Senate’s internal caucus leadership elections did not provide the same level of excitement as the leadership teams for the upcoming session remained unchanged.

Additionally, Senator Joe Scarnati was selected as the President Pro Tempore Nominee, but an official vote will occur when the new 2019-2020 Legislative Session officially begins on January 1, 2019.

Please find below a listing of the Republican and Democratic Leadership Teams for the upcoming 2019-2020 Legislative Session. Elected Members of Senate Leadership 2019-2020 Legislative Session (002).

Richard Gmerek []

Seminar Taught: “The Law of Guns in Pennsylvania”

NORTH WALES, PA – November 13, 2018

A seminar sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute entitled “The Law of Guns in Pennsylvania” was taught by Steven F. Fairlie, Esquire, of the North Wales law firm Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. The seminar was held in Philadelphia and was simulcast to over 20 cities in Pennsylvania.

The seminar explained the full cycle of firearms law under Pennsylvania and federal law from consummating a firearms transaction to using a firearm in a lethal force encounter involving the Castle Doctrine to the firearm’s ultimate lawful disposition.

For more information, contact Gina Rochford at Fairlie & Lippy, P.C., 1501 Lower State Road, Suite 304, North Wales, PA 19454,,

Melissa Boyd discussed family law at the Montgomery County Bar Association

Melissa Boyd (Norristown, PA), a family law Partner at High Swartz, was a speaker at the 11th annual Montgomery Bar Association Family Law Section Toby L. Dickman Seminar on November, 9, 2018.

The seminar, entitled “Family Law 2.0: A Child Centered and User Friendly Approach,” focused on divorces and separations that may lead to child custody battles. The seminar focused on the legal steps to make it through the custody battle process as efficiently as possible, with the main goal being the relief of any unnecessary suffering for the child involved.

Melissa Boyd spoke with Judge Daniel J. Clifford and Gary Kline, the head of the Montgomery County Domestic Relations Section.

Boyd concentrates her practice on family law with a focus on, but not limited to, divorce, pre-nuptial and post-divorce agreements, child custody and child support, equitable distribution, alimony and adoptions. She has dedicated much of her professional career to preserving the rights of children and their families.

Boyd has been certified as a Family Law Arbitrator by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and was named among the 10 Leaders of Matrimonial Law in Philadelphia.

The Toby L. Dickman Seminar is held each year in honor of the late Toby L. Dickman, a former family law attorney and family court judge who passed away in 2007.



About High Swartz LLP: High Swartz LLP is a full-service law firm serving clients in the Delaware Valley and throughout Pennsylvania from offices in Norristown and Doylestown. Established in 1914, High Swartz serves the needs of businesses, municipalities, government entities, nonprofits and individuals. With offices in Bucks County and Montgomery County, the full-service law firm provides comprehensive counsel and legal support to individuals and business entities of all sizes across a broad spectrum of industries throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For more information, visit

Eastburn and Gray, PC Welcomes Mark D. Eastburn, Esq.

Doylestown, PA – Eastburn and Gray proudly announces the addition of Mark D. Eastburn to the firm’s Criminal Defense, Litigation and Municipal Law practice groups. He will work out of the firm’s Doylestown office.

Between 2015 and 2018, Mr. Eastburn served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office. While working for that office, Mark prosecuted felony and misdemeanor cases as they progressed through the criminal justice system, often concluding with a trial before a jury or judge. Mr. Eastburn served as Chief of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (“ARD”) program, which diverts first-time non-violent offenders from the criminal justice system. He was also a member of the Economic Crimes Unit, where he specialized in prosecuting white collar crime, including high value thefts and home improvement fraud.

Mr. Eastburn is a grandchild third removed from the founder of Eastburn and Gray, Hugh B. Eastburn. His father, D. Rodman (“Rod”) Eastburn, is the firm’s President and Chief Operating Officer of the firm. “Mark comes to the firm with a strong skill set that complements our existing business,” said Rod Eastburn.

Mr. Eastburn earned his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in New York and his B.A. in Economics from Fairfield University in Connecticut. He is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


The tradition of excellence at the law firm of Eastburn and Gray, P.C. began more than 140 years ago and continues today. With law offices in Doylestown, Bucks County and Blue Bell, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, our experienced attorneys provide high quality legal services throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  As a full service firm, Eastburn and Gray attorneys practice in diverse areas of the law, effectively meeting the needs of the firm’s clients.

To learn more about our firm, our practice areas and our attorneys, please visit our website:

2018 Unofficial Election Results

While the election results are still unofficial as there are still ballots that need to be tallied (i.e. overseas and military ballots) and the possibility of vote recounts (i.e., the 6th Senate District), please find attached the unofficial results for the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives and Senate races that were on the ballot.

2018 Midterm State Senate Winners 11.7.18

2018 Midterm State House Winners 11.7.18

Voter turnout was expected to be high…and it was in many areas of the Commonwealth…and that turnout brought some surprise results in the seats that the state Democrats were able to win in, primarily, Southeast Pennsylvania.  Regarding the races in the new Congressional Districts, Pennsylvania was fertile ground for national Democrats to pick up seats in order to wrestle control of the U.S. House of Representatives.  As a result, changes were anticipated.  Not to be overlooked in the Democratic victories in Congress is the fact that Pennsylvania’s 18 member Congressional Delegation will now have female members (4).

The only two statewide races on the ballot, Governor Tom Wolf (D) and U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D), did not produce the drama that the elections for State House and Senate, and U.S. House produced as both incumbents were easily elected.

While the Republicans have retained control in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Pennsylvania Senate, their majorities were reduced.  For the upcoming legislative session, the Senate majority will decrease from 33-16 to 29-21.  However, a Special Election will need to be called in 2019 to elect a replacement for Senator Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny) once he takes his oath as the new U.S. Representative of the 14th Congressional District.  The Republican majority in the House of Representatives will decrease from 120-79 to 108- 95.  There are still some close results that could impact this final number.  Additionally, two Special Elections in Democratic Districts will need to be called in 2019 as a result of the reelection of former Representative Sid Kavulich, who passed away shortly before the General Election and was unopposed on the ballot, and Representative Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-Philadelphia) who was convicted of bribery leading up to the election and was unopposed on the ballot.

The attached chart reflects the individual races, but I have highlighted below the following information:  Pennsylvania House of Representatives races in which the control of the District switched, the Pennsylvania Senate races in which the control of the District switched, and the new members of the evenly split (9-9) Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions on this information.


Richard Gmerek


Winners who are Democrats are highlighted in Blue and Republicans in Red

U.S. Senate:

Senator Casey defeated Congressman Barletta


Governor Wolf defeated former State Senator Scott Wagner


Congressional District (Congressional District: CD):

The Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation currently has a 9-9 split.

CD1: Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R) defeated Scott Wallace (D)

CD2: Congressman Brendan Boyle (D) defeated David Torres (R)

CD3: Congressman Dwight Evans (D) defeated Bryan Leib (R)

CD4: State Representative Madeleine Dean (D) defeated David Daniel (R)

CD5: Mary Gay Scanlon (D) defeated Kim Pearl (R)

CD6: Christina Jampoler Houlahan (D) defeated Gregory Michael McCauley (R)

CD7: Susan Wild (D) defeated Martin Nothstein (R)

CD8: Congressman Matt Cartwright (D) defeated John Chrin (R)

CD9: Daniel Meuser (R) defeated Dennis Wolff (D)

CD10: Congressman Scott Perry (R) defeated George Scott (D)

CD11: Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R) defeated Jessica King (D)

CD12: Congressman Tom Marino (R) defeated Marc Friedenberg (D)

CD13: John Joyce (R) defeated Brent Ottaway (D)

CD14: State Senator Guy Reschenthaler (R) defeated Bibiana Boerio (D)

CD15: Congressman Glenn Thompson (R) defeated Susan Boser (D)

CD16: Congressman Mike Kelly (R) defeated Ronald Dinicola (D)

CD17: Congressman Conor Lamb (D) defeated Congressman Keith Rothfus (R)

CD18: Congressman Mike Doyle (D) won re-election running unopposed


State Senate (Senate District (SD):

SD10:  Steven Santarsiero (D) defeated Representative Marguerite Quinn (R) – D pick up

SD12: Maria Collett (D) defeated Stewart Greenleaf Jr. (R) – D pick up

SD26: Timothy Kearney (D) defeated Senator  McGarrigle (R) – D pick up

SD38: Lindsey Williams (D) defeated Jeremy Shaffer (R) – D pick up

SD44: Katie Muth (D) defeated Senator  Rafferty (R) – D pick up


State House (Legislative District: LD):

LD53: Steven Malagari (D) defeated George Szekely (R) – D pick up

LD61: Laura Hanbidge (D) defeated Representative Kate Harper (R) – D pick up

LD71: James Rigby (R) defeated Representative Bryan Barbin (D) – R pick up

LD74: Dan Williams (D) defeated Ambler Little Turner (R) – D pick up

LD76: Stephanie Borowicz (R) defeated Michael Hanna Jr. (D) – R pick up

LD143: Wendy Ullman (D) defeated Joseph Flood (R) – D pick up

LD146: Joseph Ciresi (D) defeated Representative Thomas Quigley (R) – D pick up

LD150: Joseph Webster (D) defeated Nick Fountain (R) – D pick up

LD155: Danielle Otten (D) defeated Representative Becky Corbin (R) – D pick up

LD157: Melissa Shusterman (D) defeated Representative Warren Kampf (R) – D pick up

LD158: Christina Sappey (D) defeated Representative Eric Roe (R) – D pick up

LD162: David Delloso (D) defeated Mary Hopper (R) – D pick up

LD163: Michael Zabel (D) defeated Representative James Santora (R) – D pick up

LD165: Jennifer Omara (D) defeated Representative Alex Charlton (R) – D pick up

LD167: Kristine Howard (D) defeated Representative Duane Milne (R) – D pick up

LD177: Joe Hohenstein (D) defeated Patty Kozlowski (R) – D pick up

LD178: Wendi Thomas (R) defeated Representative Helen Tai (D) – R pick up

Zachary A. Sivertsen, Esq. to Serve as Faculty at November NBI Seminar

Blue Bell, PA – Zachary A. Sivertsen, Esq. will serve as faculty at a NBI Real Estate seminar on Friday, November 9, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA. The seminar is entitled, Top Challenges in Subdivision and Zoning, and Mr. Sivertsen will specifically discuss difficulties in the land subdivision process.

Mr. Sivertsen practices land use and zoning, real estate, litigation, construction, and municipal law at Eastburn and Gray. He works out of the firm’s Blue Bell, Montgomery County, and Doylestown, Bucks County offices. Mr. Sivertsen has appeared on behalf of clients before zoning hearing boards and municipal governing bodies in land development matters, zoning appeals, and applications for zoning variances. He has represented municipalities in litigation matters, drafted municipal ordinances, filed and responded to right-to-know requests, and worked with local historic architectural review bodies. Mr. Sivertsen has litigated matters on behalf of private and municipal clients before the courts of common pleas, magisterial district courts, Commonwealth Court, as well as the United States Bankruptcy Court. He is a regular contributor to the firm’s popular Pennsylvania Real Estate and Municipal Law blog,

To learn more about this seminar, including registration information, please visit



The tradition of excellence at the law firm of Eastburn and Gray, P.C. began more than 140 years ago and continues today. With law offices in Doylestown, Bucks County and Blue Bell, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, our experienced attorneys provide high quality legal services throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  As a full service firm, Eastburn and Gray attorneys practice in diverse areas of the law, effectively meeting the needs of the firm’s clients.

To learn more about our firm, our practice areas and our attorneys, please visit our website: