State House leader seeks Shuster’s seat

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed announced Tuesday that he will seek the Republican nomination to represent central and western Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives. Reed is running for the 9th District seat being vacated by Congressman Bill Shuster.

“I’m running for Congress to help lead our communities back here at home and to fight for our way of life in Washington,” Reed said in a press release.  “America can be great again because of the workers and families in communities like ours who fight every single day to pass a better future on to their children and grandchildren. We deserve better than where Washington has led us.”

Shuster announced early this month that he would not seek another term in the seat he has held since 2001 after taking it over from his father, Bud. The 9th District, spans all or parts of 12 counties, including Franklin County.

Other Republicans running in the 9th District include third-term state Sen. John Eichelberger Jr., whose district includes western Franklin County; Art Halvorson, a Coast Guard veteran and a Tea Party-backed conservative who lost narrowly to Shuster in 2016; and Travis Schooley, project and engineering coordinator and water treatment plant operator for Quincy Township. Dr. John Joyce, an Altoona dermatologist, also announced he is considering running for the post.

The primary election is May 15. The deadline to file paperwork to get on the ballot is March 6.

From Reed 

“Watching my family struggle with unemployment as a child left a deep impression in me; more importantly, watching my parents keep getting back and fighting forward every time they got knocked down made me into the person I am today,” said Reed, who grew up in Homer City.

“My focus as a congressman will be to continue to fight for policies that help lead to better economic opportunities for the families of our region and help those families be able to stay together,” Reed said.

Reed has served as the majority leader in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the past three years. As majority leader, he stood up to the tax increase proposals of Gov. Tom Wolf, reformed the pension system, fought for property tax elimination and focused on policies to ensure that Pennsylvania’s educational system is preparing children for the challenges the future will bring.

“My time serving our community as a legislator has focused on ensuring all have the opportunity to realize the American dream we learned about in elementary school,” Reed said. “For far too many, that dream seems out of reach, it’s time to bring it back to where it all started.  Our future should not be dictated in the halls of the Capitol, but by our communities back at home. Washington has too often forgotten the taxpayers who pay the bills and the working families whose lives are impacted by their decisions – I’m running to be their voice.

“A strong national defense, balanced budgets, sane economic policy, and the protection of the dignity of life should be a given; but return of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people should be as well,” Reed noted. “Working with President Trump to return more power to the states on issues like education, welfare reform, and our anti-poverty efforts can go a long way to restoring hope for a better tomorrow in America.”   

After graduating from Homer-Center High School, Reed went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree in governmental administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Before being elected to the Pennsylvania State House, Reed served as the downtown director of Blairsville Improvement Group.

He and his wife Heather reside in Indiana County, where his family has lived for more than six generations, with their three children, Joshua, 9, Gracie, 8, and Ellie , 6.