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PA Senate Primary Preview: Berks, Dauphin Counties

In the waning days until the primary, PoliticsPA takes a look at the contenders for the state Senate nominations in the 11th and 15th Districts.

BERKS COUNTY

11th State Senate District
Lisha Rowe (R) vs. Miguel Vasquez (R)

The two candidates are vying for the GOP nomination to face incumbent Democrat Judy Schwank in the fall.

Lisha Rowe

  • Party. Republican
  • Residence. Cumru Township
  • Experience. Cumru Township Board of Commissioners. Berks County GOP committee woman. Environmental Education Specialist. Chemical Research and Development Technician.
  • Top Priorities. “She values the constitution, the second amendment, medical freedom, secure borders, election integrity, elimination of property tax, school choice, right-to-life, fiscal responsibility, small businesses, and the preservation of Liberty and Freedom.”
  • Endorsements. Berks County Republican Committee
  • Education. B.S., UNC-Charlotte
  • Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Vote411 Voter Guide 
  • Campaign Finance Report (from 3/4/2024 thru 4/8/2024)
    • Raised: $102,123.22 | Spent: $138,987.14 | Cash On Hand: $1,736.12
    • Debts and Obligations: $3,363.64

 

May be an image of 1 person and beardMiguel Vasquez

  • Party. Republican
  • Residence. Muhlenberg Township
  • Experience. Director of Program Support, Supportive Concepts for Families.
  • Top Priorities. “Give every child the opportunity for educational success by fighting to fund both traditional public education and choice initiatives. Get drugs and drug dealers off our streets. Severely punish any criminal who uses a gun. Focus on addiction treatment to prevent drug crime.”
  • Quotable. “Our biggest problem is politicians who have lost sight of what they are supposed to do-and are hurting all of us in the process. Too many politicians are following an ideology that puts politics before people.”
  • Education. B.S, Albright.
  • Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Vote411 Voter Guide 
  • Campaign Finance Report (from 3/4/2024 thru 4/8/2024)
    • Raised: $290 | Spent: $0 | Cash On Hand: $390

 

District composition: Part of BERKS County consisting of the CITY of Reading and the TOWNSHIPS of Alsace, Cumru, Exeter, Lower Alsace, Maxatawny, Muhlenberg, Oley, Richmond, Ruscombmanor and Spring and the BOROUGHS of Adamstown (Berks County Portion), Fleetwood, Kenhorst, Kutztown, Laureldale, Lyons, Mohnton, Mount Penn, Shillington, Sinking Spring, St. Lawrence, West Reading and Wyomissing. 

 


 
DAUPHIN COUNTY

15th State Senate District
Patty Kim (D) vs. Alvin Taylor (D)
Dominic DiFrancesco II (R) vs. Ken Stambaugh (R)

Four candidates are hoping to secure their party’s nomination for the opportunity to compete in the general election to replace John DiSanto.

No photo description available.Patty Kim

  • Party. Democrat
  • Residence. Harrisburg
  • Experience. State Representative, 103rd District.
  • House Assignments. Chair, Insurance.
  • Last Election (2022). Defeated Heather MacDonald, 75-25%, in general election.
  • Top Priorities. Fight for a living wage and expanded worker protections. Fully implement the fair-funding formula. Ensure no bill restricting access to healthcare will ever become law in Pennsylvania.
  • Quotable. “Since my time on Harrisburg City Council, I’ve committed to staying in touch with the problems my neighbors are facing and when I saw that they were too big for just our municipality — I took their voices and fights to the state House.”
  • Endorsements. Gov. Josh Shapiro, Lt. Gov. Austin Davis, Speaker Joanna McClinton, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, Dauphin County Democrats
  • Education. B.A, Boston College.
  • Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Vote411 Voter Guide 
  • Campaign Finance Report (from 3/4/2024 thru 4/8/2024)
    • Raised: $167,837.48 | Spent: $90,900.77 | Cash On Hand: $306,395.33

 

Alvin Q. TaylorAlvin Taylor

  • Party. Democrat
  • Residence. Lower Paxton Township
  • Experience. Minister, United Missionary Baptist Church. Adjunct Lecturer, Rutgers.
  • Top Priorities. Abortion should be a private decision between the woman and her physician. Education – Equity Funding and Liveable wages; and Environmental & Clean Energy Issues.
  • Quotable. “My entry into this senatorial campaign is a challenge comparable to the biblical exploits of a David versus Goliath. David, a shepherd with a slingshot versus the political warrior, Goliath. I believe the time has come to elect an ‘Ordinary man’ for the ‘Extraordinary times’ we live in.”
  • Education. B.A. and Masters, Virginia Union University
  • Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Vote411 Voter Guide 
  • Campaign Finance Report (from 1/1/2024 thru 4/8/2024)
    • Raised: $26,705.46 | Spent: $38,595 | Cash On Hand: $300
    • Debts and Obligations: $26,405.46

 

Nick DiFrancesco

  • Party. Republican
  • Residence. Lower Swatara Township
  • Experience. Dauphin County treasurer. Former Dauphin County commissioner
  • Top Priorities. Invest in good schools and make sure every kid has an opportunity to succeed at a school of their choice. Stand up to out of control spending and oppose higher taxes for our families. Protect our communities’ values, defend free speech.
  • Quotable. “I’m running for State Senator to tackle issues you and your family deal with every day. I will fight for great schools for every child, fiscal responsibility to reduce tax burden and stem inflation, and law enforcement to protect our communities.”
  • Endorsements. Sen. Greg Rothman, Sen. Mike Regan.
  • Education. B.S., Penn State University.
  • Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Vote411 Voter Guide 
  • Campaign Finance Report (from 1/1/2024 thru 4/8/2024)
    • Raised: $20,385 | Spent: $16,522.31 | Cash On Hand: $4,491.39
    • Debts and Obligations: $250

 

No photo description available.Ken Stambaugh

  • Party. Republican
  • Residence. Lower Swatara Township
  • Experience. Army veteran
  • Top Priorities. The primary role of government is the safety of our citizens. From highways to communities to fentanyl poisonings, action must be taken. Supports the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act. 
  • Quotable. “I am not a career politician. As a political outsider, I will bring real-world experience to the role of Senator, and that is what all people should want, regardless of political party.”
  • Endorsements. Dauphin County GOP.
  • Education. B.S, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. 
  • Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Vote411 Voter Guide 
  • Campaign Finance Report (from 1/1/2024 thru 4/8/2024)
    • Raised: $25,050 | Spent: $890.33 | Cash On Hand: $24,159.47

 

District Composition. Part of DAUPHIN County consisting of the CITY of Harrisburg and the TOWNSHIPS of Conewago, Derry, East Hanover, Londonderry, Lower Paxton, Lower Swatara, Middle Paxton, South Hanover, Susquehanna, Swatara and West Hanover and the BOROUGHS of Dauphin, Highspire, Hummelstown, Middletown, Paxtang, Penbrook, Royalton and Steelton.





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