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Cawley sets Aug. 7 date for special election for Orie's seat

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Friday, May 25, 2012, 10:19 a.m.

HARRISBURG -- Lt. Gov. James Cawley today will call a special election on Aug. 7 to fill the seat of convicted former state Sen. Jane Orie, R-McCandless, who resigned on Monday.Political parties will choose their candidates to compete in the election for the seat in parts of Allegheny and Butler counties. There is no primary election. The winner becomes the senator to fill Orie's term through 2014.

"After consultations with the governor and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, I decided to set an early date so that the citizens of that Senate district could have representation as soon as possible. They are entitled to their voice in the Senate," Cawley said.Scarnati said that he was "fully supportive" of Cawley's decision to call a special election on Aug. 7. Orie's replacement would have the "opportunity to cast votes on several important fall issues including pension reform and infrastructure investmen, he said.Orie, 50, represented the North Hills district since she won a special election in 2001. She was re-elected in 2010 while under indictment.Orie, 50, was convicted by an Allegheny County jury in March for using public resources for her campaigns and for forging documents. She will be sentenced on June 4 by Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Manning.

Prosecutors also charged two of her sisters, state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and Janine Orie, who worked as an aide to Melvin when she served on Superior Court. Melvin was elected to the Supreme Court in November 2009. Jane Orie used her staff and state resources for Melvin's campaign.Janine Orie still faces trial.

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