Mike Hanna Jr. announced his candidacy for the 76th Legislative District, according to a release, which makes him the latest in a line of political sons to run for their father’s seats in central Pennsylvania.
His father, state Rep. Mike Hanna Sr., is expected to announce his retirement Monday. The elder Hanna has held his seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since 1991.
Other local politicians who have assumed their fathers’ place in government include state Sen. Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, who occupies his father J. Doyle Corman’s seat and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, announced he is not seeking re-election this year after eight terms in the same 9th District seat as his father, Bud Shuster.
Hanna Jr., 35, said his campaign will focus on government reform, jobs and education.
“I’m running for state representative because we need more common sense, compromise and reform in Harrisburg. Elected officials shouldn’t collect a paycheck when they can’t pass a state budget on time, the only bill they have to pass each year,” Hanna Jr. said in a release. “Special interests in Harrisburg have taken over and our voices aren’t being heard. That’s why we need reforms like a gift ban for legislators. I’ve lived under a gift ban in my previous job and it is time the legislature enacts a gift ban, among other needed reforms.”
Hanna Jr. said he also plans to protect family-sustaining jobs and current projects by cutting through governmental red tape. Those projects include the First Quality expansion, Bechtel Development Corp natural gas power plant in Renovo and the Lock Haven University wrestling project.
“I also would want to work with Nestle Water in locating a bottle water plant in Benner Township,” Hanna Jr. said in a release.
Education is another area that Hanna Jr. would like to see grow. He said there needs to a continued focus on Career and Technical Education in every school district, similar to the work at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Technology in Pleasant Gap.
“The path to any good job is a good education. Education is a crucial component of any job and properly funding education is a must at all levels,” Hanna Jr. said in a release. “Whether it’s K-12, community college or attending a state system school like Lock Haven University, all three need the proper resources so that they can prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Hanna Jr. has served as deputy secretary of Legislative Affairs in the Governor’s Office for the past three years.
Hanna Jr. is a lifelong resident of Clinton County. He is a graduate of Central Mountain High School and Lock Haven University, where he is now a trustee.