Sam Smith retiring; Adolph a possible replacement?

Sam Smith, the state Speaker of the House, announced that he will retire from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives at the end of his term.

Smith, a Republican from Jefferson County, has served as speaker since 2011. He replaced Democrat Keith McCall when the GOP regained the House majority in the 2010 general election. Smith, 58, has represented the 66th Legislative District since being elected in 1986.

Several names have been tossed out as a potential replacement, including state Rep. William Adolph, who serves as the majority chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. All bills must pass through his committee.

A spokesman for Adolph declined to comment on the speculation. Adolph, R-165, of Springfield, has served in the House since 1989.

Other potential replacements reportedly include Majority Leader Mike Turzai, of Allegheny County; Majority Whip Stan Saylor, of York County; and state Rep. Dave Reed, of Indiana County. Reed is the chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee.

The last Delaware County representative to serve as Speaker of the House was Matthew J. Ryan, who held the position twice. Ryan, a Republican from the 168th Legislative District, first served as speaker from 1981-82. He again was voted into the role in 1995 and held it until his death in 2003.

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