Jan. election set to replace arrested lawmaker who resigned

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FILE – In this Nov. 1, 2017 file photo Pennsylvania state Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, speaks at a Capitol news conference in Harrisburg, Pa. Folmer is facing child pornography possession charges after authorities said they executed a search warrant Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, on a tip from an online social media provider that the user had uploaded an image using its service. (AP Photo/Marc Levy, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Voters in a central Pennsylvania state Senate district will get a chance in January to pick a replacement for a four-term senator who resigned last week after being arrested on child pornography possession charges.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said in a Wednesday statement that Jan. 14 is the earliest possible date to restore representation to residents of the heavily Republican district, which is based in Lebanon County.

A preliminary hearing on the charges against Republican Mike Folmer is scheduled for Thursday. Folmer hasn’t commented.

Investigators allegedly found two images of child pornography on Folmer’s cell phone after they asked him to turn it over at his house in Lebanon County. Authorities were acting on a tip from a social media website.

Folmer’s resignation left the 50-seat Senate with a 27-22 Republican majority.

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