The race to replace Reschenthaler is on.
Devlin Robinson, a South Hills businessman and Marine Corps veteran, has announced his intentions to seek the Republican nomination for the open state Senate seat in Pennsylvania’s 37th District.
This seat will be vacated by Congressman-elect Guy Reschenthaler, who cruised to a victory over Democrat Bibiana Boerio for Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District earlier this month.
“Both my military and business backgrounds have taught me to be a problem-solver, someone who understands that building our region’s economy is the only practical and meaningful way to create sustainable growth,” Robinson said in a press release.
Robinson is at least the second Republican to announce his plans to replace Reschenthaler. A WESA article released last week reports that Raja, Republican Committee Chair of Allegheny County, first declared his plans to fill the seat back in May, almost a half of a year before it was certain the seat would definitively become available.
“As Guy prepares his campaign to win in November, I believe it is also important to lay the groundwork in anticipation of Guy winning,” Raja said according to WESA.
Raja was the Republican candidate for this seat in 2012, but lost to (at the time) Democratic state Rep. Matt Smith in a close race.
Robinson believes his military background sets him apart from other potential candidates and something the people of his district search for in their elected officials.
“We recaptured this seat three years ago with a veteran who was a fresh face on the political scene,” Robinson said in the press release. “I think that formula is essential if the GOP is going to hold on to the 37th District.”
Reschenthaler served in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corp, volunteering in Iraq.
Robinson served three combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Reschenthaler has yet to officially resign from the state Senate seat, but is expected to do so shortly before he is sworn into Congress in early January, according to WESA. After he resigns, the lieutenant governor selects the date for the special election. The date selected for the special election must happen within 10 days of Reschenthaler’s resignation and the actual election must be at least 60 days in the future.
Republicans have conferences picked by leaders in local and county party committees to select their nominee, WESA reports.
WESA also reports, “Ordinarily, Raja would pick some of those conferees, but as a candidate himself, “I’m not engaged at all in that,” he said. “I’ve delegated selecting any of the at-large folks to Dave Majernik, the vice-chair. I’ll be just like one of the candidates.””