Tomorrow morning, it’ll be official. I’m running for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 171st legislative District which includes parts of Centre and Mifflin Counties. Fundamentally, this came down to a conversation I had with Lexie a few months ago.
I love my home.
I believe in the dignity of all people, their livelihoods, and the Creation. I’ll be running to make sure that people’s health and work, their schools and their land, and their rights are protected and dignified. It is past time for someone new to come in who will act on what’s best for the region and the state. That’s why I’m running.
At the end of the day, I like hard work, don’t mind a fight, and you all know that I deeply care about my community. I’ve bicycled 200+ miles in two days to lobby Congress for climate sense. I’ve stayed up late to make sure that our source water is protected and ensured that farmers were part of the process. I’ve worked alongside women, LGBTQ allies, and people of color to make sure we are all treated with dignity. I’ve worked on a plastic factory floor, on an organic farm, and as the dorm parent for 40 18-year-old boys. I’ve stared down a corporate lawyer and organized people to fight abusive mega-corporations. At Penn State, in local government, and through service on regional and statewide non-profits I’m doing what I can to make life better in Central Pennsylvania. And most of the time, my son eats and does his homework, and my wife and I get out on hikes and I even rub her feet every night.
This race is going to be hard. Really hard. Kerry Benninghoff is a well-liked 24-year incumbent seeking his 13th term. He’s a staple at Eagle Scout ceremonies, coffee and conversation, and public events. But his legislative record shows that he’s ignored rural opportunity and safety, has failed to address the huge educational issues that kick down on rural schools hard, been blind to the opportunity in the new energy economy, and benefited from one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation. He’s got a massive advantage.
So I’m going to need your help. I hope you’ll join me in this campaign however you can. You can help by connecting me to people so I can listen to their issues, find events for me to attend, knock on doors to get out the vote, donate to the campaign, and most of all, vote for me in April (if you’re a Democrat) and again in November for the general.
You ready? I am.