Seven open house seats representing south-central Pennsylvania up for grabs Nov. 8


The November 8 election will bring a wave of new people to represent south-central Pennsylvania in the state House of Representatives.

This election will determine who will fill the seven Open House seats in that region vacated by Republican incumbents, who have held them in one case for 30 years.

Five of those seats feature a contested race while the other two were essentially decided in the primary – barring any successful written challenges.

Here is a brief overview of the candidates competing in each of these races:

87th district: This Cumberland County House district has been represented by Republican Rep. Greg Rothman for eight years. He left the seat for run for state senate where he faces opposition from Democrat Jim Massey.

Republican Thomas Kutz and Democrat Kristal Markle hope to replace Rothman.

Kutz, Senate Policy Director and Lower Allen Township Commissioner, said he is running to protect Cumberland County values ​​and provide principled leadership. As a fiscal conservative, he said he would fight to pass responsible budgets that avoid raising taxes, rebuild roads and bridges, provide education for children and make communities safer.

Markle, a leadership consultant and former employee of the state Department of Human Services, was motivated to run after overcoming the physical challenges of a car accident five years ago, which gave her personal experience in s building on Pennsylvania’s public assistance programs and seeing their value, according to its website. She is committed to working to secure funding for this network of support as well as public education, advocacy for reproductive rights, and promotion of safe gun ownership.

This GOP-leaning district includes: Monroe, Silver Spring, Upper Allen Townships; parts of the townships of Lower Allen and South Middleton; and Mount Holly Springs.

94th District: This district of York County House has long been represented by Rep. Stan Saylor. He was defeated in a hard-fought primary by Republican Wendy Fink, ending his three-decade hold on the seat. Fink, an educator and former Conservative candidate for the school board, has no opposition in the upcoming election.

The district, with a Republican registration edge, includes Chanceford, Lower Chanceford, Lower Windsor, Peach Bottom, Windsor and part of the townships of Springettsbury and the boroughs of Delta, East Prospect, Felton, Red Lion, Windsor and Yorkana.

47th district: This district of York County House has been represented by Representative Keith Gillespie for 20 years. He was defeated in the primary by Republican Joseph D’Orsie.

D’Orsie, communications director of the Praise Community Church which advocates limited government, has no opposition in the general election.

The district, where the Republicans hold the registration advantage, includes Conewago, East Manchester, Hellam, Manchester and part of the townships of Springettsbury and the boroughs of Hallam, Manchester, Mount Wolf and Wrightsville.

98th District: This House district which encompasses parts of Lebanon and Lancaster counties has been represented by outgoing Rep. Dave Hickernell for 20 years. Republicans hold a clear record advantage in this district. Democrat Mark Temons, Republican Tom Jones and Libertarian Josh Gerber are vying to represent him.

Temons, a merchant and small business owner, said on his website that he would work for fair funding for schools, fight right to work legislation, advocate for safer communities while reducing the prison population and protect reproductive rights, among others.

Jones, an East Donegal township supervisor who operates a landscaping business, said on his website that he would support gun rights and school choice, further restrict abortions and eliminate absentee ballots without excuse.

Gerber, who said Lancaster Online he is an enforcer of ammonia control in farm buildings, said he wants to abolish property taxes, allow school funding to follow the child, new restrictions on abortion and cut spending on the state.

The Lancaster County portion of this district includes the townships of Conoy, East Donegal, Mount Joy and West Donegal and the boroughs of Elizabethtown, Marietta and Mount Joy. The part of Lebanon County includes the townships of South Annville and South Londonderry and the Borough of Mount Gretna.

101st District: This district of Lebanon County House has been represented for six years by retired Republican Representative Frank Ryan. The candidates who hope to succeed him are Democrat Catherine Miller and Republican John Schlegel.

Miller, a mother of two and former executive director of the County of Lebanon Bar Association, said she would focus on policies that support quality public education, prioritize the needs of older adults and promote responsible possession of firearms.

She will also work for property tax relief, support reproductive rights and advocate for transparent government.

Schlegel, a retired educator who has worked in three school districts in Lebanon County during his career, said his main focus will be fiscal accountability and government accountability. He blames runaway government spending for contributing to high levels of inflation.

He said he would fight to limit government spending, believing it would help lower taxes and bring new businesses and jobs to the state. He also wants to encourage energy production in Pennsylvania to reduce dependence on foreign oil and promote election integrity.

This district with a strong republican tendency includes: North Cornwall, North Lebanon, South Lebanon, West Cornwall and West Lebanon townships and Cornwall borough.

104th District: This district of Dauphin County, which was represented by outgoing representative Sue Helm for eight terms, was redesigned following the recent census, making it more Democratic.

Democrat Dave Madsen and Keystone candidate David Kocur are vying for the seat.

Madsen, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO’s director of community services and education, said he wants to address the COVID-19 learning deficit that has caused students to fall behind. He proposes offering after-school enrichment programs, voluntary summer school programs, universal pre-kindergarten, and investing in public schools.

He is also calling for a state earned income tax credit to reduce the tax burden on workers and low- and middle-income households struggling with inflation, which he says will also boost the economy of Pennsylvania.

Kocur, a quality assurance analyst with more than 20 years of experience in the information technology field, said his top priorities will be government reform, the pursuit of greater transparency and anti-corruption laws. -corruption such as the prohibition of gifts from lobbyists; and the repeal of laws that create victimless crimes.

He also wants to strengthen the role of the General Assembly in maintaining regulations that allow for more responsive government.

This district includes part of the city of Harrisburg; Swatara and part of the townships of Lower Swatara, and the boroughs of Highspire, Paxtang and Steelton.

105th District: This Dauphin County seat was represented by Two-term Republican incumbent Andrew Lewis, who, following a legislative redistribution, no longer lives in the district. The new district now has a strong Democratic registration advantage.

Democrat Justin Fleming and Republican Therese Lemelle Kenley are vying for the seat.

Fleming, a Susquehanna Township commissioner who has worked in state government and government ties for two decades, said he will fight for pro-worker issues including paid sick and family leave and a higher minimum wage, new investments in education, funding for childcare and early education, more affordable health care. It also pledges to protect reproductive rights, the right to vote, and the right of an individual to marry the person of their choice.

Kenley, of Susquehanna Township, is a retired Commonwealth staff member who has held various positions over the years. A conservative, she said she was running on school choice, energy development and making schools safer. She also supports the requirement for voter ID and signature verification on mailed-in ballots.

The district includes Susquehanna and parts of Lower Paxton Township and the Borough of Penbrook.

Jan Murphy can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.

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