Long term incumbent Representative Rick Geist was defeated in the Spring Republican primary. Now two candidates are running hard to take the seat Geist occupied for more than 30 years.
Right after Labor Day, supporters of the Republican candidate in the 79th district race gathered in Altoona for a fall kick off rally. The conservative- reform views of Republican Dr. John McGinnis have drawn Tea Party support from across the state as well as the district.
The other candidate in the race, Democrat Richard Flarend has received endorsements from several current and former elected officials. Flarend says this bipartisan support is because he is calling on both parties in Harrisburg to work together for the common good of the State and the people who live here.
Both of the candidates are currently on the faculty of Penn State Altoona. Republican McGinnis says he wants to go to Harrisburg and push for a limiting the role of state government. Democrat Flarend sees a role for the state in helping to support local governments and the people they serve.
Both candidates say they want to put an end to career politicians and they support term limits. Voters in the 79th District which covers Altoona and Logan Township will be sending a new Representative to Harrisburg for the first time since 1978.