Delaware County high-stakes special election to determine who controls Pa. House

A special election is underway in Delaware County and whichever party wins will determine who controls the Pennsylvania House.

On a quiet Delaware County street, the high-stakes race for Pa.’s 163rd District state house seat plays out. On one lawn, a sign for Republican Katie Ford. On the other, Democrat Heather Boyd.

"I don’t think I knew fully how much attention this race was going to get," candidate Heather Boyd said. "It’s overwhelming."

"If they want me there, they’ll come out and vote and I’ll be their choice," candidate Katie Ford said.

47-year-old Boyd and 43-year-old Ford are squaring off to represent the district which includes the communities of Aldan, Clifton Heights, Collingdale and sections of Upper Darby and Darby Borough.


Both women agree the region’s schools are underfunded.

"We’re not getting the supplies we need. We need more funds," Ford said. "We need to make sure distribution is corrected as well and that’s the job of our school board."

"My community has been underfunded by the state and it has been paying more in their own property taxes because of it," Boyd stated.

The two disagree on the issue of abortion and when former Democratic state Representative Mike Zabel resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, the pressure for Democrats to retain the seat and their state house majority grew intense.

RELATED: Delaware County Rep. Mike Zabel quits amid sex harassment allegations

A win by Ford places Republicans back in control. Even the Governor jumped in with a television ad.

Boyd is pro-choice and believes the voters are, as well.

"They don’t want that. They say they want to protect women’s rights to choose and not have to have a big, political fight about it," Boyd explained.

Ford says there should be exceptions for abortion restrictions, but claims she wouldn’t alter current law.

"With a Democratic governor and a Republican senate, this law is not going anywhere anyway and I’m not going to change it," Ford claims.

Boyd confirms Democrats have poured $1 million into the race, while Ford’s supporters believe they’ll spend $300,000 in the end.