Editor: No time for election reasons

In Washington, DC, it took about a week to figure out which party would have a majority in the US House of Representatives, with attention focused on the races in Colorado and California before the balance finally tipped.

The Republicans would narrowly retake the House of Representatives from the hands of the Democrats.

In Pennsylvania, the same question played out. It took longer to sort through the votes in the counties around Philadelphia before a vote for Melissa Ceratto in Montgomery County’s 151st district took the state House of Representatives out of GOP control for the first time in 12 years.

The rim is also narrow. At the moment it is a theoretical majority. Three Democratic seats in southwestern Pennsylvania are — or will be — vacant: the 32nd district won by the late Tony DeLuca, the 34th district by Congressman-elect Summer Lee, and the 35th district by Lt. gov. Austin Davis, all Democrats. Those seats will have special elections that are expected to leave Republicans in a majority through March.

Across the country, Republicans are cheering their victory and making plans to advance the agenda and settle scores.

In Keystone State, the Democrats are just as cocky.

The Senate – both federal and state – is more certain, but not a broad majority here either.

In Washington, it’s the breadth of a vote on the Democrat side, with support for Vice President Kamala Harris as a tie-breaker and an unsettled race in Georgia. In Pennsylvania, Republicans hold a broader 28-22 victory — a half-dozen votes that seem an absolute luxury compared to the national numbers.

In Harrisburg and Washington, lawmakers need to watch the numbers. Those weren’t landslides. Any legislature must pay less attention to the party executive and more to the needs of local voters.

It’s not the Democratic Party that should be dictating Lee’s votes. It’s the people of Pittsburgh. It’s not the GOP that should guide Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward’s decisions. It’s the people of Hempfield. And it’s not the pundits who got Senator-elect John Fetterman to thank for his new job. It’s the voters of Pennsylvania.

Regardless of party, these people want and need the same things: jobs, economic stability, education, health care, security. All of this must not be seen as a partisan matter, but as the absolute basis for legislative direction.

After the election and in the midst of upheaval, party rhetoric on both sides is full of fanfare, like trash talk after a soccer win. That must be silenced in favor of peace mediation.

The margins are too small for winning rounds and revenge campaigns, the stakes too high. Do your work. All from you.