A second Pennsylvania state representative has announced plans to run for the soon-to-be vacant 15th District seat in Congress.
Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, a Republican who represents Berks and Lehigh counties in Harrisburg, formally announced Friday his candidacy for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent. The seat includes Lehigh County and portions of Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon and Northampton counties.
In his announcement, Mackenzie said he will focus on "commonsense solutions that put our priorities first."
"Our nation works best when Americans are in the driver’s seat," he said in a prepared statement. "Our government has grown so big, unwieldy and directionless that it is holding us back from achieving the prosperity we all know is within our reach."
Mackenzie has represented the 134th District since 2012.
On Wednesday, state Rep. Justin Simmons, a Republican who represents Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton counties, announced he would step down from his seat in the 131st District to run against Dent. Simmons blasted Dent as a "liberal Republican" and claimed the district's conservative base wanted more from its congressman.
In response, Dent touted his record as a "strong and independent voice," blasting Simmons' "failed record" as a lawmaker in Harrisburg.
On Thursday, Dent made the surprise announcement that he wouldn't seek an eighth term in Congress. The Lehigh Valley resident said he'd been considering the move for months.
Mackenzie's announcement touched on the hot-button issues facing Congress such as calling for an immigration system that secures the country's borders, tax relief that "unleashes American workers to reach our full potential" and foreign policy that is "clear, resolute and remains focused on our interests."
Mackenzie announcement will also create a second vacancy in the state House as he plans to step down in order to run for Congress.
Gov. Tom Wolf is appointing a 36-year veteran of the Pennsylvania State Police to head the agency and replace the retiring Col. Tyree Blocker.Read More »
- Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers ready to help in storm
- Lawmaker accused of abusing colleague won't seek re-election
- Senate approves bill to protect domestic violence victims
- Pa. Senate OKs bill to toughen gun laws in domestic cases
- Crash blocks WB Pa. Turnpike beyond Reading interchange
- Speed, travel restrictions lifted on Pa. Turnpike, major highways
- Fire destroys bagel shop, damages strip mall in Heidelberg Twp.
- The Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show is underway
- Safety concerns arise over polling places at Butz Elementary
- Fate of parents charged in daughter's death in jury's hands
- 15 arrested in bust of violent drug trafficking organization
- Band of thieves sought in theft from Victoria's Secret store
- Police chief switches from Allentown to South Whitehall Twp.
- Quakertown school board backtracks on furloughs
- Allentown schools facing $28.4 million deficit
- Salisbury grants waiver for Swain School soccer field