The Center Square) – The Pennsylvania Senate will soon have another open seat as word emerged that Sen. John Blake, D-Archbald, would soon be resigning after 10 years in the chamber.
Blake told the The Times-Tribune newspaper that he would be stepping down March 8. The newspaper said it had confirmed with other sources that he would be taking a position on the staff of U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pennsylvania.
“I’ve given my all to [serving in the Senate],” Blake told the newspaper. “My passion and my joy in the job has ebbed over the past couple of years.”
Blake, 60, is the minority chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and has served in the Senate since 2011. He also is a member of the Appropriations, Education, State Government and Transportation committees.
Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa offered his best wishes to Blake as he departs the Senate.
“Since he was elected ten years ago, he has been committed to serving his constituents and has always been their outspoken advocate in every piece of legislation he has introduced, board he has served on, and speech he has given on the floor of this body,” Costa said in a statement. “He provided invaluable expertise to our caucus on matters of pension reform, local government matters and community investment strategies.”
Blake also earned plaudits for his stances on open government. Erik Arneson, who formerly led the state’s open records office and now works in communications for Republican Treasurer Stacy Garrity, said Blake would be missed.
“Senator Blake has always been a strong advocate for the Right-to-Know law, @OpenRecordsPA & transparency in general,” Arneson wrote on Twitter.
A special election will fill the remainder of Blake’s term; the term is scheduled to conclude following the November 2022 election.
The Senate’s 48th District seat is also open following the death of Republican Sen. Dave Arnold on Jan. 17. The Republican caucus, including independent Sen. John Yudichak, who caucuses with the majority party, will have a 28-20 edge in the chamber following Blake’s resignation.