The 156th district of the state House of Representatives now belongs to Democrat Barbara McIlvaine-Smith.A former West Chester Borough Council member, Barbara McIlvaine-Smith, 56, defeated Shannon Royer by 23 votes. A democrat has not held the 156th district seat since the early 1980s.
Smith trailed by 19 votes after the election on Nov. 7. However, after absentee ballots were counted, Smith recovered and took the lead.
The state republican party called for a recount on Friday, December 1. To do so, they had to sign the initial certification granting victory to McIlvaine-Smith.
“We’re down by 23 votes. That is an awfully small number,” Royer said. “We need to make sure that everything is done correctly,’ he told the Daily Local News.
“I think Chester County Voter Services did a superb job,” Smith said. “I don’t know what Republicans think will turn up.” If Republicans call for a recount, Smith is certain that she is will remain the winner in the district.
This Monday, Smith plans to go to the orientation for Democratic State Legislators in Harrisburg. “I’m looking foward to it. I have a full slate for the first two days of next week,” Smith told the Daily Local News.
“I’m just thrilled to be given the chance to do what’s right,” Smith said. She hopes to bring integrity and honesty back to politics once in the House.
Education, a healthier environment and making health care more affordable and accessible are a few of the issues that Smith will focus on in the State House.
Which ever candidate ultimately wins the election will replace retired state representative Elinor Z. Taylor of West Goshen.
The balance of power in the state House depends on the outcome of this race. Without a named winner of the race, there are 101 republicans and 101 democrats currently holding seats in the state House. A victory for either party would grant that party control of the state House which is responsible for making and passing state laws and approving or rejecting legislation sent down by Governor Rendell.
The recount could take seveal weeks to complete.