BETHLEHEM, Pa. - From mourning to purpose.
The widow of late State Representative Dan McNeill is hoping to carry on her husband's legacy in Harrisburg.
Jeanne McNeill is now the Democratic Party's candidate for the seat left vacant by her husband last month when he suddenly passed away.
"This was sudden, and devastating, and heartbreaking," McNeill said.
Nearly a month ago she said goodbye to her husband of 37 years.
"He always joked with me that if something ever happens to me, you have to go for my seat," she said.
She clinched the Democratic nomination Wednesday for State Representative in the 133rd District.
"I will never fill his shoes, but I will shape my own shoes and walk the path he walked with my own ideas, thoughts and vision," McNeill said.
For her, that includes advocating for people with disabilities, a passion shaped by her career as an educator for special needs adults.
"I see a lot of shortages in funding for them, and a lot of families hurting badly," she said.
Her family is hurting too, but she says her campaign is not fueled by that.
"There were some comments online that said 'oh, the pity vote', but I'm not asking for anyone's pity, I'm asking them to support to me," McNeill said.
If she wins in December's special election, it'll be her first stint in public office after a failed run for county commissioner years ago.
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