Court: Democrats Can Replace Brennan on Ballot
Party leaders have until 4 p.m. Wednesday to pick a substitute in the 133rd House District race. Legislator's PFA hearing postponed.
Pennsylvania Democrats have until Wednesday to pick a replacement candidate for state Rep. Joseph Brennan on this year’s General Election ballot.
Commonwealth Court on Thursday granted the embattled three-term legislator’s request to have his name removed from the ballot.
The court also granted the Democratic Party’s request to pick a replacement candidate for the 133rd House District seat, giving a deadline of 4 p.m. Wednesday to do so, according to published reports.
Facing criminal charges and a continuing struggle with alcohol addiction, Brennan announced Wednesday that he would not continue with his re-election campaign. He intends to remain in office until his term expires on Nov. 30.
Mark Nicastre, a spokesman for Pennsylvania Democrats, told The Morning Call that state party leaders and leaders from Lehigh and Northampton counties will meet to discuss possible replacements. The state party’s executive board will have to give final approval.
The newspaper mentioned four potential candidates: Fountain Hill Mayor Jose Rosado, Coplay Councilman Bill Leiner Jr., Bethlehem attorney Anthony Rybak and Bethlehem financial consultant George Yasso.
Whoever is picked will be opposed by Catasauqua acupuncturist Dave Molony, the Republican nominee.
The 133rd state House district includes nearly half of the city of Bethlehem, Fountain Hill, Catasauqua, Coplay, Hanover Township in Lehigh County and parts of Allentown and Salisbury and Whitehall townships.
While Commonwealth Court weighed in on the political process, Lehigh County Court rescheduled its hearing on a Protection From Abuse order barring Brennan from seeing his wife, Norma Jane, and their two sons, ages 7 and 5, according to The Express-Times.
Attorneys for Brennan and his wife both requested that the matter be delayed until after the criminal charges against the legislator are resolved, the newspaper reported. Until then, the temporary PFA against Brennan remains in effect.
Brennan was arrested on Aug. 15 and charged with simple assault and drunken driving after he allegedly choked and punched Norma Jane Brennan on the porch of their Fountain Hill home and then drove away drunk.
Brennan, 48, of 1201 Delaware Ave., is free on $7,500 bail and awaiting a preliminary hearing that has been scheduled for Sept. 19.