Special election for Pennsylvania House seat scheduled for May 18

MOUNT PLEASANT — Voters in the Pennsylvania House’s 59th district will choose a new representative May 18 after the sudden death of Mike Reese last week.

Reese, 42, died after an apparent brain aneurysm at a Greensburg hospital on Jan. 2, leaving behind a wife and three children. House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, said the district’s office in Mount Pleasant will remain open for constituents.

“Rep. Reese set an example for every legislator to follow, and he is greatly missed in the chamber by members and close friends on both sides of the aisle,” Cutler said. “His commitment to his family and his constituents could never be questioned, and he leaves enormous shoes to fill on our House Republican leadership team.”

The 59th district comprises parts of Westmoreland and Somerset counties. Reese was first elected in 2009 and rose through the ranks of party leadership to serve as Republican caucus chairman. He was set to fulfill the role again in the 2021-22 legislative session before his untimely death.

“Mike was a part of the fabric of Westmoreland County politics over the last two decades,” said Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, whose district overlapped Reese’s in western Pennsylvania. “Since 2008 when he and I joined the state legislature, he has been a terrific partner in advocating for Westmoreland County and a staunch proponent of good government.”

“Our community was robbed of one of the most honorable men I have ever had the privilege to serve with and our Commonwealth will be worse off because Mike’s voice will not be a part of its future,” she added.

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