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York Commissioner Reilly Prepares Bid for Platts Seat

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

In the hours since Rep. Todd Platts announced his retirement at the end of this term, Republicans from York to Harrisburg to Washington have been scrambling to get a sense of who might replace him.

The latest name to emerge is that of York County Commissioner Chris Reilly.

“I’m strongly considering a run,” Reilly said. “I’m not gonna drag it out – expect a decision within a day or two.”

A source close to the Commissioner says he is “95 percent in,” and is likely to officially announce on Friday.

Reilly says he won’t make his decision based on who else enters the race, such as Pa. Rep. Scott Perry of Dillsburg who is seen as the favorite for the GOP nomination. Pa. Sen. Mike Waugh of Glen Rock has also been mentioned. York’s other GOP Commissioner, Steve Chronister, is also considering a bid reports the York Dispatch.

Ted Waga, the Ryan Bucchianeri of PA-4, is a police sergeant in Baltimore who had been running a grassroots primary campaign to oust Platts. He says he plans to remain in the race.

“Scott’s a great guy, he’d be a formidable candidate,” Reilly said. Since incumbents often cruise to re-election in the district for ten years or more, he added, “It’s a very important decision for the folks of the 4th district. Voters deserve multiple choices. The more the merrier.”

According to his campaign website, Reilly, 49, was elected mayor of Dallastown in 1989 at age 26. He served on the County Commission from 1996 to 2003 and 2008 to present. He retired in 2003, he says, to work in the private sector. The 48-year old lives in York Township with his wife Lisa and their three children.

Reilly has a bit of street cred on the right: he supported Pat Toomey in his 2004 primary against Sen. Arlen Specter, a litmus test for movement conservatives in Pa.

He already has an important fan: Scott Wagner, president of York-based Penn Waste Inc. Wagner has lent significant financial support to a number of Republican campaigns in recent years including Mike Smeltzer, the conservative who challenged Rep. Todd Platts last year. He bundled $250,000 for Senator Pat Toomey.

“I’m reaching out to Chris to see if he has an interest in running,” Wagner said. “I think he is the best candidate.”

“Quite frankly,” Wagner added, “If he doesn’t, I think I will have an interest in running. I’m a businessman; I employ 400 workers directly and 500 indirectly. I can read a financial statement backwards and forwards. That’s missing in Washington.”

The district includes all of Adams and York Counties, the eastern portion of Cumberland County and most of the city of Harrisburg. But the deep-red district is a safe seat for Republicans, and York County is the power base. The eventual nominee and Congressman will be a Republican from York County.

One Response

  1. Hope Reilly gets in. Now who do we get to run against Joe Pitts in the primary? He has been asleep at the wheel for years. Anyone remember George Gekas? Honestly, I’d vote for Gekas over Joe Pitts.

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