Despite Questions Over Her Eligibility, PA Republicans Won’t Impede Newly Elected State Senator

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HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) – After weeks in limbo, a newly-elected state Senator is thanking chamber leaders who say they won’t stand in the way of her swearing-in.

Pennsylvania state senator Lindsey Williams talks about her recent win in the election and the Republican party concerns that she doesn’t meet residency requirements as she settles into her new office on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, in Glenshaw, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Soon after her election, top Senate Republicans began raising lingering questions about whether Lindsey Williams meets state residency requirements.

Williams won a close race in the Pittsburgh suburbs, flipping a district blue after its Republican incumbent lost in the primary.

But then, the leaders in her soon-to-be chamber announced she was under a microscope. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati raised doubts about whether Williams met the state’s four-year residency requirement, and requested documents so Senate lawyers could check.

If she didn’t comply, she might not be sworn in.

Williams got a job in Pittsburgh in October 2014. She began relocating from Maryland soon after and by November 6th, she was physically in the commonwealth. However, she hadn’t yet signed a lease or switched over her drivers’ license, and she had previously voted early in Maryland.

After weeks of deliberation, Scarnati issued a statement Friday saying state law is ambiguous about what constitutes residency, and that Williams passes muster.

He added though, the Senate can revisit the issue if they get new, conflicting information.

The decision came amid statewide rallies in support of Williams and indignant calls from Democrats to have her seated.

In her own statement, Williams said the last few weeks have been stressful. She thanked Senate Republicans for their fairness, though, and said she looks forward to “doing the job I was elected to do for the people of District 38.”