State Rep. Judy Ward, a Republican from Blair County, is the first candidate to come forward to fill the 30th District seat of state Sen. John Eichelberger Jr., who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives seat being vacated by Bill Shuster.

The 30th District covers western Franklin County — including the boroughs of Greencastle and Mercersburg and Antrim, Fannett, Metal, Montgomery, Peters, St. Thomas and Warren townships — as well as all of Blair and Fulton counties and parts of Huntingdon and Cumberland counties.

Ward attended Thursday’s Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Thursday with state Rep. Paul Schemel, a Republican whose district includes Greencastle and Antrim Township.

Ward said she and Schemel entered the Legislature together, often sit together and share similar views.

Her candidacy was formally announced at an event on Saturday at the Williamsburg Community Center.

 About Ward 

“From day one, my goal has been to represent the real people from every walk of life and every background who make up our communities,” Ward, who was first elected to the House in 2014, said in a press release. “As representative, I have made it my top priority to deliver the very best in constituent services to make certain people are getting the help they need and deserve. I have also focused on the local issues that are important to our communities but too often are forgotten about by the Harrisburg insiders. This is something I will continue to do as senator.

“I will bring proven conservative leadership to the Senate to continue standing up for taxpayers and our communities,” Ward said in her press release. “From standing up to the governor’s liberal tax-and-spend agenda, to protecting our agricultural heritage and driving economic and job growth, to protecting our Second Amendment rights, I will continue to be a strong voice on the issues local residents care about most. I am pro-life. I am a strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights.”

Ward was a leading opponent against Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed expansion of the state’s income and sales taxes.

She supported conservative initiatives to begin privatization of the state’s liquor stores and institute reforms to the public pension system.

Ward was an early and leading supporter of President Donald Trump’s campaign and was chosen to introduce him at a campaign event held just before the November 2016 election.

“Being asked by the future president of the United States to help ‘fire up the crowd’ at a huge campaign rally is truly an honor I will never forget,” Ward said. “As he is working to shake up the status quo in Washington, I want to do the same in the state Senate to make sure people are always put first.”

She brought a background in nursing, business and community service to the House of Representatives. 

Ward spent 22 years as a registered nurse. During that time she also founded a business called All About Towne that assisted local businesses in relocating and welcoming new employees to the community.

Upon leaving nursing, Ward was development director first for Allegheny Lutheran Social Services and later for Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School. In 2010, Ward became the medical, health and wellness coordinator at Ward Transport and Logistics.

A lifelong resident of Blair County, she lives just up the hill from her 95-year-old mother, and is a wife and the mother of two sons – Bill Jr., a Naval Academy graduate who has served overseas in the Persian Gulf, and Adam, a Penn State graduate.  She and her husband Bill will be married for 34 years this June.

Ward is a graduate of Hollidaysburg High School and earned a nursing diploma at the Altoona Hospital School of Nursing. She is a graduate of R.U.L.E. – the Pennsylvania Rural Urban Leadership Program run by the Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences as well as the Blair County Chamber’s Leadership Blair County program.