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After challenge by Republicans, Democrat Jim Brewster takes seat in PA Senate


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republicans who control Pennsylvania’s state Senate say they’ll stop blocking a Democrat from taking his seat in the chamber.

The change of heart came Tuesday after Jim Brewster’s unsuccessful Republican challenger lost another bid in court Tuesday to overturn the results of the close race.

U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan was under pressure to settle a fight that spilled onto the floor of the state Senate last week when majority Republicans refused to let Brewster, of Allegheny County, be sworn in.

Ranjan on Tuesday rejected the argument by Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli that Allegheny County wasn’t justified in counting mail-in ballots that lacked a handwritten date.

Those ballots helped deliver a 69-vote victory to Brewster.