Frank Dermody

State House leadership elections bring change to Harrisburg

Republicans in the state House elevated Rep. Bryan Cutler to be floor leader Tuesday and made Rep. Kerry Benninghoff whip, while Democrats re-elected Minority Leader Frank Dermody and voted for Rep. Jordan Harris as whip.

The biggest surprise among the top jobs was Harris, a 34-year-old Philadelphian whose selection reflects the increasing numbers and growing influence of Democrats from the southeast within their caucus.

"Let's be clear, the gains in our caucus were in the southeast," Harris said after the vote, referring to last week's election that gave his party a pickup of about 11 House seats. "Our caucus has to represent the...