The American flag flies at the Pennsylvania State Capitol building Oct. 24, 2018, in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma) Pennsylvania Capitol
The American flag flies at the Pennsylvania State Capitol building Oct. 24, 2018, in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Voters in Westmoreland and Somerset counties will choose between candidates selected by the two major parties.

HARRISBURG — Voters in a western Pennsylvania state House district will pick a representative to fill what is now a vacant seat during the May 18 primary, Speaker Bryan Cutler announced Tuesday.

The opening is due to the Jan. 2 death of Rep. Mike Reese, R-Westmoreland.

Colleagues said Reese, 42, died at a hospital of an apparent brain aneurysm about a month after publicly disclosing he had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The parties will pick the candidates in what has been a reliably Republican district.

Reese had been chosen to serve as House Republican caucus chairman for the 2021-22 session that has just gotten underway. He had served in the House since 2008.