It is now January 20th, the Senate has been back in session for two days, and in six days the election season for 2016 will begin. The Bureau of Elections, Commissions, and Legislation has placed the year’s election schedule online, and January 26th is the first day that nomination petitions can be circulated. It remains to be seen if there will be any competitors to the current most junior Senator, but I am hopeful that there will be some measure of competition. Even in cases where the incumbent is well-entrenched, such as with Tim Murphy, it is always better to have at least some choice given to the electorate. If Reschenthaler runs unopposed, he may very well become entrenched until he sees some opportunity to move up or out. The last three senators from the 37th district have all resigned (Tim Murphy in 2003, John Pippy in 2012, and Matt Smith in 2015), so that trend may very well continue if Reschenthaler gets no competition.
Reschenthaler’s State Senate page is available and shows two offices serving the district, one in Moon and one in Mt Lebanon. I haven’t been by the office in Moon, but a drive past his office in Mt Lebanon yesterday showed that the signage is a bit behind the times. I’m guessing that either the budget impasse has not allowed funds to be made available to replace the signage, or Reschenthaler is saving every dime he has to retain his seat against any rival in the election this year. Interestingly, Matt Smith’s personal senate page is still up, seemingly unchanged after his resignation in June. That is, everything is frozen in time except for his Twitter feed.
Lastly, Reschenthaler was one of five Senators, led by Scott Wagner, to announce a package of six bills to try to reform lobbying in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with Reschenthaler’s particular contribution being bill to “increase penalties for violations of the lobbyist law from $2,000 to $4,000, with penalties increasing for repeat violations.” This doesn’t strike me as being particularly groundbreaking in itself, but it does indicate that Reschenthaler is initially aligning himself with Wagner, a distinctly non-establishment if not Tea Party-aligned Republican from York County whose package of bills is raising questions of his intent.