Tony DeLuca: Late Pennsylvania lawmaker wins reelection one month after death

Tony DeLuca, 85, was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 32nd District from 1983 until his passing on October 9, 2022

Tony DeLuca: Late Pennsylvania lawmaker wins reelection one month after death
Tony DeLuca was also one of the original co-founders of the PA Legislative American-Italian Caucus (PA House of Representatives)
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ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSLYVANIA: The late Pennsylvania State Representative Tony DeLuca won re-election on Tuesday night, November 8, despite passing away last month. DeLuca, the Democratic candidate, died on October 9, after a brief battle with lymphatic cancer and it was too late for election officials to change the ballots.

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The late 85-year-old who served in the state legislature from 1983 for 39 years until his death, garnered more than 85% of the vote and defeated the Green Party candidate, Queonia 'Zarah' Livingston in the Pittsburgh-area 32nd House District. Tony DeLuca received nearly 14,000 Election Day votes and more than 7,000 mail-in votes, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

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Tony DeLuca, 85,
Late Tony DeLuca, 85, garnered more than 85% of the vote and defeated the Green Party candidate, Queonia 'Zarah' Livingston in the Pittsburgh-area 32nd House District (Credit: PA House of Representatives)

In addition to the House Insurance Committee, Tony DeLuca served on the Democratic Policy Committee and was a member of several caucuses including Autism, Cancer, Firefighters, and Emergency Services, Mental Health, Sportsmen, and Steel, according to the Democratic Caucus reports, claimed PAhomepage. Tony DeLuca was also one of the original co-founders of the PA Legislative American-Italian Caucus. 

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The Pennsylvania House Democrats even paid their tribute to Tony DeLuca and announced on Twitter, that they were saddened by the loss but proud to see Democrats not losing faith in him. “While we’re incredibly saddened by the loss of Representative Tony DeLuca, we are proud to see the voters continue to show their confidence in him and his commitment to Democratic values by re-electing him posthumously,” Pennsylvania House Democrats said in a tweet. “A special election will follow soon.”

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A local reporter suggested voters in Tony DeLuca’s district voted for him despite his passing away to avoid electing the third-party candidate Queonia 'Zarah' Livingston, reported New York Post. “Some folks commenting that the voters here were oblivious,” wrote Charlie Wolfson of PublicSourcePA Wednesday on Twitter. “Some certainly were. But for others, they likely preferred the idea of a special election over electing the third-party candidate on the ballot.”

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Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) will need to schedule a special election to fill Tony DeLuca’s vacancy in the 32nd District, according to the Associated Press. Special elections will also need to be called to replace State Rep. Austin Davis, who is expected to become Pennsylvania’s next Lieutenant Governor, and State Rep. Summer Lee, who was elected to Congress. All three represented districts in Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh.
 

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