Efforts by Republicans in Congress to reject the presidential results resonated in the Pennsylvania state legislature on Tuesday, when Republicans voted not to appoint a Democrat elected in November and remove the deputy governor, who is also a Democrat, from the presidency of the state Senate.
On a traditional ceremonial day of taking the oath, the majority in the Pennsylvania Senate rejected the seat of Senator Jim Brewster, whose victory has been narrowly approved formally but is being challenged in court.
In a chaotic and controversial session, Republicans also voted to dismiss Lieutenant John Fetterman as president of the Senate and replace him with the highest-ranking Republicans in the House.
The deputy governor initially refused to leave the podium, and for several minutes he and the Republican voted in his place and tried to sniff out the proposals from the ground. Ultimately, Mr. Faitherman walked away.
“I was taken outside,” Mr. Vetterman said in an interview minutes later. “This was a corruption of the basic democratic privilege in our country.” He said Mr. Brewster’s victory in November was validated by the Commonwealth Secretary and compared the actions of Republicans in the state to President Trump’s efforts to sabotage his race result.
Mr. Brewster, who represented a district outside of Pittsburgh for a decade, defeated Nicole Zicarelli, the Republican, by 69 votes. She challenges the results in federal court. There are several hundred mailed ballot papers that did not have a handwritten date on their outer envelopes. Ms. Ziccarelli lost her appeal in state court.
Jake Corman, the interim chair of the state and Republican Senate, told reporters on Monday that his party believes it must wait for the outcome of the legal challenge before taking the seat. “Our goal is to get it right, not quickly,” he said.
But Democrats described it as an open takeover of power. “The idea of a single party deciding who is the real victor is a dangerous precedent that we see unfolding on the national stage,” said Mr. Fetterman.
Republican Senate spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher accused Democrats of causing chaos. “Today, the Senate order and fitness were hijacked by Lieutenant John Fetterman and the Democratic Assembly members in the Senate, who failed to abide by the Senate rules,” she said.