Schemel first to throw hat in ring

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

Paul Schemel becomes the first candidate to throw his hat into the ring for the seat being vacated by Rep. Todd Rock, (R - Franklin County). Rock chose not to run for Pennsyvania’s 90th District General Assembly in the fall election. The district entails Antrim, Washington, Quincy, Hamilton and Letterkenny townships, Greencastle and Waynesboro.

Schemel is a partner in Dick, Stein, Schemel, Wine and Frey LLP, with offices in Greencastle and Waynesboro. He and his wife Lucy live in Greencastle with their six children.

“I've been considering this for over a year,” Schemel said. “It sounds so trite but it is true. I want my kids to have opportunities here. Our Commonwealth is at a crossroads, and the decisions of the General Assembly over the coming years could not be more critical to our community.”

He was especially concerned with the size and cost of operating the legislature, the second largest in the nation. In addition, elected officials were facing important social issues, policies creating municipal burdens and taxation inequities.

He plans to get an understanding of the complexities of office before making promises.

“I want to get the lay of the land to see what is achievable,” Schemel said. “I want to tax rightly, spend wisely and look after the Commonwealth prudently.”

Schemel, 42, has served on Greencastle Borough Council, Waynesboro Hospital Board of Directors, Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and Waynesboro Human Services Council. He is an avid outdoorsman, member of the National Rifle Association, and active with Boy Scouts.

In 2008 he served a State Department special appointment as an advisor in Iraq. He worked alongside the U.S. Marines with local government officials and tribal leaders to build coalitions. He was honored with various awards and recognition from the Secretary of State. He holds an MBA and law degree. He and his family are active members of St. Mark the Evangelist Church.

He cited his life experiences with preparing him for this next role.

“I have counseled people through some of the most crucial decisions of their lives. I have been given the responsibility to negotiate deals that have ensured some of our greatest economic drivers have remained here in Franklin County. I have also witnessed great and historic industries leave our community, however, in large part because of the absence of the tools that other states provide.

“I understand how to face differences of opinion and how to work with influential people, and I have experience bringing them together to achieve common goals. Finally, as a husband and father and God-fearing man, I know the values that have made our nation and our community strong.”

Schemel wanted to be among sound people making good decisions in Harrisburg.

“I will strive to do all that I can to ensure that our Commonwealth chooses the right path for our future and that of our children.”

He is in the process of forming a campaign committee.