Rep. Art Hershey's retirement after 26 years in Harrisburg represents a loss of seniority and poses a major challenge for our community. We need to respond by electing a successor who has the experience and tenacity to affect change from Day One. Both parties should be advancing their best candidates - candidates who have an established record on the critical issues facing their community, and the ability to connect that experience to state policymaking; candidates who can transcend partisanship to bring forth real solutions to real problems.For our district, that candidate is our Chairman, Tom Houghton.

For six years, Tom has worked tirelessly to promote managed growth in a manner that preserves our open space and lowers our tax burden. And he did it with the backing of a bipartisan board and the backing of a bipartisan constituency. Tom was elected twice as a Supervisor in a township where

Democrats are outnumbered 3 to 1! While we would be very sorry to lose Tom as our Chairman, I know that wise infrastructure and land use planning for London Grove depends on active leadership and support from state policymakers. London Grove and all of Southern Chester County should benefit from Tom's experience, energy and capacity to lead.

This is a critical time for our community and a pivotal election that should be based upon a thoughtful consideration of the challenges and opportunities facing the entire 13th District. We will be poorly served if our next

Representative is tapped by a handful of Republican Party insiders. With Tom in the race, voters will be assured an issues-based campaign and a real choice on Election Day.

I strongly support his decision to enter the race, and carry forward the progressive agenda that has accomplished so much for London Grove Township.

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