Eli Evankovich

Democrats hope to cut GOP majorities in legislative contests

Dozens of new faces will be joining the Pennsylvania Legislature next year because of retirements, and the national political mood has Democrats hopeful they can pick up seats and chip away at the large majorities Republicans have long enjoyed in both chambers.

But the Republican margins of 121-82 in the House and 34-16 in the Senate mean even the bluest of waves would likely fall short of flipping control. There's much at stake, because in the Pennsylvania Legislature the majority party has a dominant role in determining what happens.

Over the past two years, lawmakers have enacted tougher rules for surrendering guns in domestic violence cases, established grants to help...