State Sen. John Eichelberger Jr., R-Blair, officially announced Sunday his campaign for the retiring Rep. Bill Shuster’s seat in Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District.
Eichelberger, who represents the 30th Congressional District, emphasized his conservative record of reform in the state Senate during his announcement at the Freedom Township Fire Hall in East Freedom.
“I stand before you today to say that yes, we ended midnight votes and illegal pay raises. We slowed down, and have almost replaced, a culture where cars and trips and parties on the taxpayer dime have almost come to an end,” Eichelberger said. “But I didn’t come to Harrisburg to fulfill a lifetime dream. Now it’s time to take the fight to Washington, D.C.”
David Taylor, president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, introduced Eichelberger at the campaign announcement by saying, “I’m always proud to stand with John Eichelberger.”
State Reps. John McGinnis, R-Logan Township, and Rich Irvin, R-Spruce Creek Township, also spoke in support of Eichelberger.
Jon Eich, a Democrat and former Centre County commissioner, said he is not concerned about votes being cast for Eichelberger due to their similar names, but opposing party affiliations.
“John has not represented a portion of any electoral area where I’ve run before so his name and my name wouldn’t be linked, in my opinion,” Eich said.
This isn’t Eichelberger’s first time campaigning to represent the 9th District. In 2001, Eichelberger ran against Bill Shuster after the seat was left vacant by the resignation of Shuster’s father, Bud Shuster — who held the seat for 28 years.
After the defeat, Eichelberger went on to run a successful primary campaign in 2006 against longtime senator, former lieutenant governor and current Penn State board of trustees member Robert Jubelirer for his current seat in Pennsylvania’s Senate.
Eichleberger joins Art Halvorson, of Bedford County, and Travis Schooley, of Franklin County, in the race. Republican House Majority Leader Dave Reed is also expected to join the race soon, per The Associated Press.