New G-A state senator takes the oath office
Judy Ward, the Greencastle-Antrim area's new state senator, took the oath of office Jan. 1 to begin serving her first term representing the 30th District.
In addition to Greencastle and Antrim Township, in Franklin County the district includes Mercersburg and Fannett, Metal, Montgomery, Peters, St. Thomas and Warren townships. Ward also represents all of Blair and Fulton counties and parts of Cumberland and Huntingdon counties.
Ward, a Republican, served two terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in November 2018. She replaces John Eichelberger Jr., who did not seek re-election.
“Serving in the General Assembly for the past four years in the House of Representatives has been an honor, and I am humbled to be entrusted now with the responsibility of being the voice of more than 270,000 district residents in Harrisburg,” Ward said. “I look forward to continuing to fight for the issues that mean the most to our communities.”
Ward has already announced plans to introduce legislation that would ensure proper nurse staffing levels at hospitals, remove unfair tax obstacles for small businesses, and eliminate regulations that stifle business growth.
“We need to welcome new businesses to the area in order to grow our local economy, and we need to make sure residents of all communities have access to quality health care services,” Ward said. “Health care and jobs are two of the biggest concerns in our local communities, and those two issues will be at the top of my list of priorities in the Senate.”
She also plans to introduce bills to ensure more seniors are eligible for the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program, make depression screenings more widely available for students, and improve the recruiting and retention of volunteer firefighters and emergency responders, among other measures.
The new Blair County office is at 1904 N. Juniata St. in Hollidaysburg. The office will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The phone number will remain 814-695-8386.
The existing 30th Senatorial District office in Fulton County will remain open at 201 Lincoln Way West, Suite 102, in McConnellsburg. The office will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The phone number for the Fulton County office is 717-485-3616.
The Harrisburg office will be located in Room 460 of the Capitol Building. The office will have the same hours as the district offices. The phone number for the Harrisburg office is 717-787-5490.
- Cheryl Schriner – Chief of Staff
Schriner has more than 25 years of experience in state government. She previously served as chief of staff to a state senator from Beaver County, legislative director for state senators from Allegheny County and Erie County, and as executive director of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Law and Justice Committee. In addition to these roles, she worked as the legislative liaison in the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue under the administration of former Gov. Tom Ridge.
- Amanda Walker – District Director
Walker was Ward's district office manager with the House of Representatives. She also holds experience in public relations, as she was the director of marketing and enrollment for a private high school for a number of years prior to her employment with the state legislature.
- Kathleen Gunnell – Constituent Outreach Specialist
Gunnell served as a legislative aide to Eichelberger for the past four years. She and her late husband founded Antietam Iron Works, LLC, and she is a former teacher at Cumberland Valley Christian School and also served as an administrative assistant to Judge David L. Cahoon in the circuit court for Montgomery County, Maryland.
- Michele Ivory – Constituent Outreach Specialist
Ivory worked as economic development director for Eichelberger for the past 12 years. She has earned knowledge and experience in a number of different industries over the past 30 years, including education, defense contracting, public non-profit, and private consulting sectors.
- Chrissey Wagner – Constituent Outreach Specialist
Wagner also worked in Ward's district office when she served in the House of Representatives. Wagner previously worked a paralegal for many years, as director of development for non-profits in the area, and was also a small business owner.
- Stacey Zimmerman – Constituent Outreach Specialist
Zimmerman previously worked in the House of Representatives in Ward's Blair County district office. She holds a license as an insurance resident producer from the commonwealth, specializing in property/casualty and life/health, and has worked for a number of years in the insurance business.
- Eric M. Pauley – Legislative Director
Pauley has worked in the Senate for over 30 years as a legislative/executive assistant to several senators. In this capacity, he has assisted senators by researching, reviewing and drafting legislation, as well as preparing members for legislative matters before the Senate.
- Pat Snively – Executive Secretary
Snively has worked in the Senate for more than 23 years in various administrative positions, including serving as administrative assistant to the Senate Judiciary Committee for nine years.