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May 22, 2024

With his arrest warrant withdrawn, state Rep. Kevin Boyle returns to Pa. House

The Democrat, who was accused of violating a restraining order, lost a primary election to Sean Dougherty in April.

Government Pennsylvania House
Kevin Boyle House Kevin Boyle/Facebook

State Rep. Kevin Boyle is back working at the state capitol following the withdrawal of his arrest warrant and his loss to Sean Dougherty in the Democratic primary.

Kevin Boyle is back at work at the state capitol after an eventful April in which he lost his Democratic primary and had a warrant for his arrest issued and then withdrawn. 

The seven-term legislator, who has served parts of Montgomery County and Northeast Philly since 2011, told the Inquirer that he felt "vindicated after so many false accusations." The arrest warrant issued in April alleged that Boyle had violating a restraining order by texting his estranged wife.

District Attorney Larry Krasner later said the warrant was withdrawn because the protective order was no longer active when Boyle texted his wife. House Republicans have called for Attorney General Michelle Henry to investigate Krasner's handling of the matter.

During the April 23 primary, Boyle lost to Sean Dougherty, who was endorsed by the Democratic party. Dougherty, the son of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty and the nephew of twice-convicted former labor union leader John Dougherty, received 72% of the vote. 

"Unfortunately and inaccurately, just days before a competitive election in April, it was announced I was facing arrest and I subsequently lost my seat which I held since 2011," Boyle told the Inquirer. "While politics is a dirty game, there must never be politicization of law enforcement or false targeting from any source for benefit."

After the arrest warrant was issued – and Boyle declined to surrender – lawmakers from both major parties introduced legislation in response. One bill would have given a subcommittee the power to expel lawmakers deemed unfit to serve; another would have prevented Boyle from voting remotely. 

Boyle is the younger brother of U.S. Congressman Brendan Boyle.

His primary loss came about two months after he was filmed ranting in a bar. The state Democratic Caucus issued at statement at the time saying he was "seeking help" for mental health issues. His security privileges were revoked after the episode, but they have since been reinstated and he no longer requires an escort to enter the capitol building.