Updated: Nov. 04, 2022, 6:07 a.m.|

Published: Oct. 31, 2022, 5:20 a.m.

By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com

The Nov. 8 election will wash in a wave of new people who will represent southcentral Pennsylvania in the state House of Representatives.

That election will identify who will fill the seven open House seats in this region being vacated by Republican incumbents, who have held them in one case for as long as 30 years.

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

The following is a brief rundown of the candidates competing in each of those races:

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

Hoping to replace Rothman are Republican Thomas Kutz and Democrat Kristal Markle.

Kutz, a policy director in the Senate and Lower Allen Township commissioner, has said he is running to protect Cumberland County values and deliver principled leadership. As a fiscal conservative, he said he will fight to pass responsible budgets that avoid raising taxes, rebuild roads and bridges, provide for children’s education and make communities safer.

Markle, a leadership consultant and former state Department of Human Services employee, pledges to defend women’s rights, equal rights, victim’s rights, public education and promote safe gun ownership. She wants to put people before politics and ensure that all voices are heard, according to a statement on the House Democratic Campaign Committee website.

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

94th District: This York County House district has long been represented by Rep. Stan Saylor. He was defeated in a hard-fought primary by Republican Wendy Fink, ending his three decade-long hold on this seat. Fink, an educator and conservative former school board candidate, is unopposed in the upcoming election.

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

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

D’Orsie, a communications director for Praise Community Church who advocates for limited government, has no opponent in the general election.

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

98th District: This House district that encompasses parts of Lebanon and Lancaster counties has been represented by retiring Rep. Dave Hickernell for the past 20 years.Republicans hold a clear registration edge in this district. Democrat Mark Temons, Republican Tom Jones, and Libertarian Josh Gerber are vying to represent it.

Temons, a tradesman and small business owner, said on his website he would work for fair funding for schools, fight against right-to-work legislation, advocate for safer communities while reducing prison populations, and protect reproductive rights, among other issues.

Jones, an East Donegal Township supervisor who operates a landscaping business, said on his website he will support gun rights and school choice, further restrict abortions and eliminate no-excuse mail-in ballots.

Gerber, who told Lancaster Online he is a farm building ammonia control applicator, said he wants to abolish property taxes, allow school funding to follow the child, further abortion restrictions and lower state spending.

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

101st District: This Lebanon County House district has been represented for the last six years by retiring Republican Rep. Frank Ryan. The candidates hoping to succeed him are Democrat Catherine Miller and Republican John Schlegel.

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

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

Schlegel, a retired educator who worked in three Lebanon County school districts during his career, said his main focus would on fiscal responsibility and government accountability. He blames out of control government spending for contributing to high inflation levels.

He said he will fight to rein in government spending, believing that will help lower taxes and attract new businesses and jobs to the state. He also wants to encourage Pennsylvania energy production to reduce reliance on foreign oil and promote election integrity.

This strong Republican-leaning district includes: North Cornwall, North Lebanon, South Lebanon, West Cornwall and West Lebanon townships and Cornwall borough.

104th District: This Dauphin County district, which has been represented by retiring Rep. Sue Helm for eight terms, was redrawn following the recent census making it more Democratic leaning.

Vying to fill this seat are Democrat Dave Madsen and Keystone candidate David Kocur.

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

He also is calling for a state earned income tax credit to reduce the tax burden on low- and moderate-income working individuals and households struggling with inflation, which he said also will stimulate Pennsylvania’s economy.

Kocur, a quality assurance analyst with over 20 years of experience in the information technology field, said his top priorities will be governmental reform, seeking stronger transparency and anti-corruption laws such as a ban on lobbyist gifts; and repealing laws that create victimless crimes.

He also wants to strengthen the General Assembly’s role in maintaining regulations enabling a more responsive government.

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

105th District: This Dauphin County seat has been represented by two-term Republican incumbent Andrew Lewis, who as a result of legislative redistricting no longer lives in the district. The new district now has a strong Democratic registration advantage.

Vying for this seat are Democrat Justin Fleming and Republican Therese Lemelle Kenley.

Fleming, a Susquehanna Township commissioner who has worked in state government and government-related for two decades, said he will fight for pro-worker issues including paid sick and family leave and a higher minimum wage, new investment in education, funding for child care and early education, more affordable health care. He also pledges to protect reproductive rights, voting rights and an individual’s right to marry who they choose.

Kenley, of Susquehanna Township, is a retired commonwealth staffer who held a variety of positions over the years. A conservative, she said she is running on school choice, energy development, and to improve safety in schools. She also favors requiring voter ID and signature verification on mailed ballots.

The district includes Susquehanna and parts of Lower Paxton township and Penbrook borough.

*This post was updated.

Jan Murphy may be reached at jmurphy@pennlive.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.

Share.
Subscribe to our news outlet via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@2022 Q Hubo News