The Incline in Harrisburg

No more drama: Pittsburgh’s Lindsey Williams sworn in as state senator

The Democrat took the oath of office Tuesday after weeks of questions from Senate Republicans.

Sen. Lindsey Williams

Sen. Lindsey Williams

James Robinson / Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus
Sarah Anne Hughes

Pittsburgh’s Lindsey Williams is officially a state senator.

The Democrat took the oath of office Tuesday after weeks of threats from Senate Republicans who questioned whether Williams met the four-year state residency requirement to run. Williams had provided GOP leaders with proof she accepted a job in Pittsburgh on Nov. 2, 2014 and began the process of moving from Maryland to Pennsylvania at that time. As recently as Friday morning, leadership still did not seem satisfied with that explanation.

But Friday afternoon, President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said in a statement he would recommend Williams be seated. His statement raised the possibility of revisiting the subject on the Senate floor, but that did not come to pass.

Roughly a dozen protesters came to the capitol Friday to demand Williams be seated. Among them were Williams’ family members, including her mother Nancy Williams. “We are here to say, don’t become the next North Carolina with voter suppression,” she told The Incline, “and let the voices and the votes of the people of Pittsburgh be counted.”

Lindsey Williams will represent the 38th district, which includes part of Pittsburgh, Aspinwall, Etna, Fox Chapel, McCandless, Millvale, O’Hara, Pine, Richland, Ross, Shaler, and Tarentum.

The area was previously represented by Republican Randy Vulakovich, who lost during the primary to conservative businessman Jeremy Shaffer. Williams beat Shaffer by just under 800 votes.