By Bill Bostic
State Rep. Ron Marsico, R-Lower Paxton Township, deciding to retire at the end of this year is forcing voters in 105th state House District to pick a new officeholder for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Republican voters in Lower Paxton and East and West Hanover townships appear to have a tough choice to make when they cast their votes in the May 15 primary election to select their party’s nominee.
Candidates Adam Klein and Andrew Lewis offered similar views Monday evening on a wide range of issues during a debate staged by the Tea Party Patriots of Central Pennsylvania.
Dan Mosel, the debate moderator, asked everyone in attendance to conduct themselves in a civil manner and both candidates followed the script to a T. About 35 people attended the meeting held at New Love in Christ Church in Lower Paxton Township.
Lewis, a 31-year-old military veteran, said he wants to help the state become a leader in economic growth and job creation. He is an executive with a construction company based in Lower Paxton Township and moved into the township about a year ago.
He called for the state to lower corporate taxes, expand educational opportunities, increase government transparency and put term limits in place for state lawmakers.
In his opening remarks, Klein, a lawyer who resides in West Hanover Township, said getting the state budget under control, addressing the opioid crisis and repairing the state’s aging infrastructure are the most pressing issues facing the state.
Klein, age 46, has lived in West Hanover Township since 2002 and served 11 years as a West Hanover Township supervisor. He also is a former Dauphin County deputy district attorney.
Both candidates mirrored each other on most issues raised during the debate, including the challenge facing the winner of the Republican primary to defeat likely Democratic nominee Eric Epstein in the fall. Epstein, a Central Dauphin School Board member and well-known community and statewide political activist, is unopposed in the primary election.
Klein and Lewis are scheduled to debate again on April 18 at a meeting sponsored by the Linglestown Area Civic Association in the St. Thomas Social Hall at Linglestown Fire Company’s brick firehouse. The event will start at 7:30 p.m.
Photo by Steve Miller (Pictured l. to r. are Adam Klein, debate moderator Dan Mosel and Andrew Lewis.