The election was set in motion by the resignation of a sitting Republican senator. The GOP establishment decided to back state Representative Ron Miller. With the Pennsylvania primary already scheduled for May 20, it was assumed that Wagner would face off with Miller in the primary. Out of the blue, the state GOP conspired to hold a special election on March 18, the winner to take the seat immediately. Miller was quickly endorsed and an incensed Wagner left off the ballot. He could still run in the May primary, but would then be up against a sitting senator in the GOP leaning district. The only way Wagner could participate in the March election was as a write-in candidate. In other words, Wagner was supposed to be out — quite deliberately targeted by the Forces That Be.