There's another Republican name seeking to replace former state Sen. Jane Orie: state Rep. Randy Vulakovich of Shaler confirmed this morning that he too is seeking to represent the North Hills in the Senate.
Vulakovich said he had local party leaders as well as non-political folks in the area approach him about running, but made up his mind once the new legislative maps were approved on Friday.
"I never had on my radar to go from state House to state Senate," he said in a short interview. "A lot of people in the community asked me to give it consideration."
He said the new maps, which move the 40th Senatorial District but remake the neighboring 38th to encompass most of the North Hills, were a factor.
Whoever wins the special election in August will hold the seat for the remaining two years of Ms. Orie's term, after which the 40th District will be relocated to the Poconos. That will leave the incumbant to face off against Democrat Jim Ferlo of Highland Park, who currently represents the 38th.
Vulakovich said he wasn't looking that far ahead yet -- his focus is on gaining the nomination on Saturday amid a slew of other interested candidates (including former Congresswoman Melissa Hart, who previously represented the area in the state Senate), and if elected, on "trying to restore normalcy" to the district.
The Republican nominee selected by local party leaders will face Democrat Sharon Brown in the special election.
UPDATE, 5 p.m. - Failed to note earlier that Vulakovich is on the list of conferees for Saturday's candidate-selection meeting that was released by the state party last week.