Sen. begins to assume lt. governor's duties

November 13, 2008 8:11:14 AM PST
The death of Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll on Wednesday is elevating a former northwestern Pennsylvania business owner into the state's second-highest elected post. A top aide to Sen. Joe Scarnati said his office was moving Thursday to assume the lieutenant governor's duties, although no plans had been set to swear in Scarnati.

The 46-year-old Jefferson County Republican was first elected to the Senate in 2000. His fellow senators elected him the chamber's president pro tempore two years ago, making him second in line in succession to the governor.

The primary duties of the lieutenant governor are presiding over the Senate and chairing the state Board of Pardons.

Scarnati got his start in public service on the Brockway Borough Council in 1986 while helping to run various family businesses, including a restaurant.


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