PA State Senate - District 33
Residency: I have lived in South Central Pennsylvania since 1973. The last 10 years I have lived in Adana County (Lake Meade).
A Bit About Rich: I spent 25 years in public education, first as a Social Studies teacher, and then as a middle school and high school principal. I also coached football. In retirement, I am an elected member of the school board at Bermudian Springs School District. My experiences as a coach, teacher, principal and school board member have taught me how to bring people together around a common purpose and work to achieve a common goal.
Why run for office: I decided to run for Pennsylvania Senate because I believe this type of visionary, results-oriented leadership is sorely lacking in Harrisburg. There are too many problems not being resolved due to partisan, political posturing and unwillingness to compromise. Too many of our State Representatives and State Senators concern themselves with playing to base constituencies rather than working toward solutions that benefit the vast majority of Pennsylvanians.
Hope to achieve in office: I am not interested in playing political games. I am interested in working with colleagues to find long-term solutions to difficult issues, including: providing affordable health insurance for everyone, which is not dependent on job security; securing fair and equitable funding for K-12 schools; enacting property tax reform that maintains a high standard of local control; maintaining clean air and clean waterways without job losses due to environmental restrictions; putting an end to gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement; finding solutions to gun violence that don’t impinge on Second Amendment rights; promoting social justice and law enforcement reforms; and supporting volunteer emergency services and responders.
Biggest priority: Education. As Principal at Biglerville High School, I had the privilege of greeting each graduating senior individually. I shook their hands just before they received their diplomas. When I looked in their eyes, I saw the potential each one of them had to become a productive, contributing member of society. Ultimately, my decision to be your State Senator is motivated by my desire to help these young people fulfill that potential.
Most optimistic about: My career in education has taught me that there are many ways to resolve an issue, and that meaningful solutions require discussion, understanding and ultimately compromise. The ability to “see the furthest point down the road” makes it easier to determine the best course of action to achieve long-term benefits for all stakeholders. More and more people are tired of the partisan politics. While I am the Democratic Party candidate for PA Senate District 33, I consider myself to be a moderate. In fact, for much of my voting life, I was a registered Republican, aka “Reagan Republican”. It’s not about party labels; it’s about listening to all of your constituents, even those who did not vote for you. Voters this year are longing for that.
Importance of civic involvement: “It’s extremely important. We have taken our republic for granted far too long. It requires work, vigilance, and compromise of diverse ideas. It requires all of us, our due diligence, and commitment. Never doubt that you, we, together can change the world.