PA-18 Special Election – Rules and Procedures

Procedure to Recommend a Candidate for the Special Election To Fill the Vacancy in the 18th Congressional District

Resolved on the 20 Day of October 2017 by the County Chairs of Allegheny, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties, in conjunction with the Chair of the Pennsylvania State Democratic Party, the 18th Congressional District Caucus shall recommend a candidate to the Pennsylvania State Democratic Executive Committee based on the following procedure:


(1) The Caucus Members of 18th Congressional District Caucus shall consist of the officers and two committeepersons from each election district in the 18th Congressional District at the time when the writ of election is issued by the Governor, plus all members of the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee resident in the 18th Congressional District, including at-large members and members of the Democratic National Committee. Only those persons whose appointment as defined above has been properly submitted to the County or State Committee as of the date that the Governor issues the Writ of Election will be eligible to become a certified Caucus Member and participate.

(2) The Four County Chairs, together with the Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee (or his designee) shall act as the Credentials Committee for his or her respective county. Each County Chair is to present to the State Chairman a list of credentialed Caucus Members, with address and voting district, no later than 72 hours after the Writ of Election is issued. Once all checks have been completed, the list of Certified Caucus Members will become available to the announced candidates.

(3) If there is an issue raised with respect to the eligibility of any committeeperson listed on any of the lists submitted by the chairs the Credentials Committee will determine whether such candidate is eligible. The decision of the Credentials Committee may be overturned by a majority vote of the other elected committeepersons after proper motion and second except that the challenged committee member shall not have a vote. The same rule shall be in force if an individual believes that he or she is a committeeperson but is not listed on the list submitted.


(1) Each delegate is entitled to one vote. All issues (except for the selection of the Nominee) shall be decided by majority vote.

(2) To conform with Article Nine, Section Twelve of the Bylaws of the Democratic National Committee, the caucus shall be open to the public; however, only credentialed Caucus Members shall be allowed on the floor.

(3) Proxies shall not be permitted. Only those properly credentialed Caucus Members present will be permitted to vote and to participate in all the activities of the Caucus.

(1) A meeting of the 18th Congressional District Caucus shall be called promptly after the writ of election is issued, at a date, time, and location intended to maximize participation in the Caucus. The Chair of the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee, or his designee, shall act as presiding officer, operating with the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee staff.

(2) The Presiding Officer shall read the Credentials Committee Report. A motion should be made to accept or adopt the report.


(1) The Congressional Caucus having been organized, the meeting shall proceed to select the candidate to be recommended to the Pennsylvania State Democratic Executive Committee for the district at the special election. A member of the Credentials Committee or a designee thereof shall keep a record, and that person shall serve as Secretary for the meeting. The Secretary shall keep a record of (A) the names of all persons nominated; (B) the number of votes received by each person nominated and (C) the number of persons voting.

(2) Only credentialed Caucus Members present are permitted to address the Caucus to put forth the nomination of a candidate for recommendation. Motions to nominate candidates shall be made and seconded from the floor, but there will be no speeches accompanying said motions.

(3) Only candidates who meet the eligibility requirements for the office are permitted to be nominated for recommendation.

(4) To be nominated for recommendation, a candidate must present the signatures of at least five credentialed Caucus Members to the Secretary of the Caucus (by manner announced by the Secretary) by 4pm at least Ten (10) Days prior to the opening of the caucus Each delegate can only nominate one candidate. For verification purposes, the Caucus Member signers shall print their names and addresses along with signing the nominating document. The Secretary shall then certify the nomination papers and publicly announce the names of those candidates that have qualified.

(5) Each candidate so nominated shall have an equal opportunity to address the caucus prior to the initial vote for no more than five minutes.

(6) The Credentials Committee will appoint up to five Tellers whose function will be to distribute ballots, collect, and tabulate same. The results will be presented to the Chair or his designee who will announce the results of each round of voting and a time at which the next round of ballots will be collected. All votes shall be cast using secret, printed ballots and deposited into boxes supervised by the Tellers. Each Candidate may appoint one person to serve as a watcher during the count as long as that candidate remains eligible.

(7) The candidate who receives a “majority” (50% +1) of the number of persons voting at each round of voting shall be considered recommended.

(8) After the first vote, if no candidate receives a majority of the number of persons voting, the vote shall proceed to a second ballot. To qualify for the second ballot, a candidate must have received at least 10% of the votes cast in the first round; however, if there are fewer than two candidates who receive less than 10% of the vote, then the bottom two candidates shall not qualify for the second ballot and all remaining candidates shall proceed. Beginning at the second ballot, and at each subsequent vote, the lowest vote-getter of each previous round of voting will be eliminated until such time as a candidate achieves a majority vote.

(9) Should there be no winner selected because of a tie vote, the recommendation shall be made by a majority vote of the Credentials Committee.


The candidate who is recommended by the district caucus shall be considered the recommended candidate of the 18th Congressional District Caucus and should be reported as such to the Pennsylvania State Democratic Executive Committee forthwith.


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