Pennsylvania Democratic Party
ChairpersonSharif Street
GovernorJosh Shapiro
Lieutenant GovernorAustin Davis
Senate LeaderJay Costa
House SpeakerJoanna McClinton
House LeaderMatthew Bradford
Founded1792 (1792)
Headquarters229 State St.
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Student wingPennsylvania College Democrats
High School Democrats of Pennsylvania
Youth wingPennsylvania Young Democrats
Women's wingPennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women
Membership (May 2021)4,059,810[1]
Modern liberalism
Social democracy
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Colors  Blue
U.S. Senate Seats
2 / 2
U.S. House Seats
9 / 17
Statewide Executive Offices
3 / 5
State Senate
22 / 50
State House
102 / 203
State Supreme Court
5 / 7

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is headquartered in Harrisburg and is the largest political party in the state. Its chair is Senator Sharif Street.

Governor Josh Shapiro is a Pennsylvania Democrat. Priorities for Pennsylvania Democrats in the 2010s and 2020s have been advocacy for middle class workers and increasing the minimum wage.


The state Democratic Party has recently made economic factors a major component of its platform, with advocacy for middle class workers of particular prominence. The party has also opposed Republican-sponsored legislation to require a photo ID for voting, asserting that such a requirement would discourage minorities, youth, and those with low incomes from voting because they are less likely to possess a state-issued ID. Additionally, the party has committed itself to maintaining the social safety net and encouraging more transparency in state government.[3]

Key issues for the party include affordable healthcare, jobs and wages, support for workers and unions, fairer taxes, strong public education, retirement security, civil rights, environmental protection, marijuana legalization, and criminal justice reform.[4]

A priority for Pennsylvania Democrats in the 2010s and 2020s has been increasing the minimum wage.[5]


Early history

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party traces its history to 1792. Pennsylvania Democrat James Buchanan was elected president in 1856 but did not seek re-election four years later, when Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, was elected president. Buchanan's rise and fall from political prominence coincided with that of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania; for much of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the party was largely out of power.[6][7]

Recent history

The party held the governorship from 2003 to 2011 with the election of Ed Rendell in 2002 and his re-election in 2006. The party lost control of the governorship following the election of Republican Tom Corbett in 2010. The party picked up a U.S. Senate seat in 2006 with the election of Bob Casey Jr. Pennsylvania Democrats also briefly held both of the state's U.S. Senate seats following Arlen Specter's party-switch. However, Joe Sestak defeated Specter in the May 2010 Democratic primary before losing the fall general election to Republican Pat Toomey. On the state legislative level, the party won a majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2006 and in 2008 but lost its majority in the 2010 election.[8]

Republican governor Tom Corbett was defeated for re-election to a second term by Democrat Tom Wolf. This marked the first time an incumbent governor lost re-election in Pennsylvania.[9] Wolf was re-elected in 2018.[10]

Current officeholders

The party controls three of five statewide executive offices, including the governorship, and is in the minority in the Pennsylvania State Senate. Democrats hold both of the state's U.S. Senate seats, nine of the state's 17 U.S. House seats, and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.


U.S. Senate

U.S. House of Representatives

District Member Photo
2nd Brendan Boyle
3rd Dwight Evans
4th Madeleine Dean
5th Mary Gay Scanlon
6th Chrissy Houlahan
7th Susan Wild
8th Matt Cartwright
12th Summer Lee
17th Chris Deluzio




Senate Leadership Position House
Jay Costa Floor Leader Matthew Bradford
Anthony H. Williams Whip Dan Miller
Wayne D. Fontana Caucus Chairperson Mike Schlossberg
Maria Collett Caucus Secretary Tina Davis
Vincent Hughes Appropriations Committee Chairman Jordan Harris
Judy Schwank Caucus Administrator Leanne Krueger
Katie Muth Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro


See also



  1. ^ "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Voter Registration Statistics". Pennsylvania Department of State.
  2. ^ "Democrat John Fetterman wins Senate race in Pennsylvania". Retrieved 6 December 2022.
  3. ^ "On the Issues, Every #PASEN Democrat Will Beat Toomey in the General Election". 5 April 2016.
  4. ^ "OUR KEYSTONE ISSUES". Pennsylvania Democratic Party. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  5. ^ Levy, Marc (20 November 2019). "Senate sends fight over Pennsylvania's minimum wage to House". Associated Press. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Pennsylvania | Infoplease". Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Presidents". The White House. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Our History". PA Democratic Party. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  9. ^ "NBC News Projects: PA's Corbett Ousted by Democrat Tom Wolf". NBC News. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  10. ^ Levy, Marc (7 November 2018). "Democrat Tom Wolf wins 2nd term as Pennsylvania governor". Associated Press. Retrieved 27 January 2021.