Pennsylvania Capitol

The east side of the Pennsylvania Capitol building is seen from across the State Street Bridge. An analysis by Spotlight PA found that lawmakers in the Capitol are producing fewer pieces of legislation than in the past.

A top Pennsylvania lawmaker said this week that Peach Bottom Rep. Bryan Cutler is in line — and would do well — in filling his shoes in one of the most significant policy-making positions in Harrisburg.

Meanwhile, at least one nominee is set for an odd upcoming special election in Lancaster County.

And in other election news, local Democrats successfully had one write-in campaign this spring and came up just short in another.

Here are those updates and more from the political scene in Lancaster County and beyond.

Cutler, ‘the natural fit'

One of the highest-ranking lawmakers in the state Capitol said this week it would make sense for Peach Bottom Rep. Bryan Cutler to succeed him as majority leader when he retires later this year.

Cutler, because he serves in Republican leadership as majority whip, would be “the natural fit," Majority Leader Dave Reed said in an interview with The Caucus, a watchdog publication of LNP Media Group.

“He is a good young guy who will do very good if he chooses that position and is elected in that regard," Reed said. “But we have a number of very good folks. And you don't know what the dynamics are."

It wasn't exactly an endorsement, but it's the first time Reed has spoken publicly about the jockeying for his position — and Cutler was the only potential candidate he mentioned by name, unprompted.

Cutler, 43, was first elected to the House in his southern Lancaster County district in 2006. He has expressed interest in becoming majority leader, which would require a majority of his House Republican peers to select him for the role.

Reed said it will be more clear who will get the job on the Tuesday after the Nov. 6 election.

Nominees for special election

One of two major-party nominees has now been determined for the unusual special election that some Lancaster County voters will face this fall.

Mary Gay Scanlon, the Democratic nominee to succeed former U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan in the newly redrawn Delaware County-based district, will also be the party's nominee in the special election under the old district lines.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party announced the decision after Meehan resigned and the special election to replace him was set for the same day as the Nov. 6 election.

It's a potentially confusing ballot situation for voters in nine eastern Lancaster County precincts who have lived in the 7th district — represented by Meehan — since 2012. Because of the statewide redistricting case, those voters, starting in January, will be in the new 11th district that covers all of Lancaster County and southern York County.

The winner of the 7th district special election will serve until January.

Scanlon, an attorney, won the 10-way Democratic primary on May 15 for the new Delaware County district that overlaps largely with the old district but doesn't include any part of Lancaster County.

The Pennsylvania Republican Party has not yet picked its nominee for the special election, and a spokesman said it has until Sept. 17 to do so.

Pearl Kim, a former senior deputy attorney general, is the Republican nominee going up against Scanlon for the new district.

Write-in winners

Before the May 15 primary, Lancaster County Democrats had candidates lined up to challenge eight of the 10 Republican state House members who represent parts of the county.

The two GOP incumbents without challengers on the ballot were Cutler, in the 100th district, and Rep. David Zimmerman, in the 99th district.

But after a successful primary write-in campaign, Democrat Dale Hamby will be on the November ballot against Cutler.

Cutler defeated Hamby once before, in 2016, with nearly 74 percent of the vote in the Republican-heavy district.

In Zimmerman's district, Democrat Elizabeth Malarkey came just short of the 300 write-in votes necessary to get on the November ballot.