Delaware County Democrat Zabel leaves Pennsylvania House seat

Delaware County Democrat Zabel leaves Pennsylvania House seat

Delaware County’s longtime Rep. Greg Zabel has vacated his seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, following a notable tenure in Harrisburg.

Zabel, a Democrat, had held the 161st District seat since 2013, when he bested Republican opponent Stephen Barrar in a narrow election. Prior to this, he had served as a Magisterial District Judge in Chester County, a position he held for 14 years. In the House, Zabel chaired the Subcommittee on Judicial Reform and served on the House Judiciary Committee.

Notable among Zabel’s legislative achievements include the passage of the Clean Slate bill, which allows Pennsylvanians with non-violent misdemeanors to have their records automatically sealed 10 years after completion of a sentence. He also successfully championed a bill to increase the age at which juveniles can be tried as adults from 18 to 21.

Zabel’s exit from the House creates an open seat in the 161st District, which comprises portions of Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. It is expected to be a hard-fought race, as both parties recognize the significance of the seat.

After announcing his departure from the legislature, Zabel said in a statement: “I am proud to have served the people of the 161st District for the past eight years and am grateful for their unwavering support. I believe that through the hard work of my colleagues and staff, we have achieved many successes, and I am confident that the work we have done will continue on in the district.”

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has bid farewell to Rep. Greg Zabel of the 161st District, who has vacated his seat after an impressive eight-year tenure. During his time in Harrisburg, Zabel was a staunch advocate of judicial reform, overseeing the passage of the Clean Slate bill, which offers individuals convicted of non-violent crimes the opportunity to have their records sealed after 10 years, as well as a bill that raised the age at which juveniles can be tried as adults.

With Zabel’s departure, the 161st District, which encompasses parts of Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties, is now up for grabs in what is likely to be a highly competitive and contentious election. Zabel expressed his gratitude for the constituents of the district, noting in a statement that he was proud of the accomplishments achieved during his time as Rep. and confident that the work done would continue on in his absence.