Merisotis
Merisotis (submitted)

A tea party conservative is running for the 93rd House District, a seat that will be vacant if incumbent Ron Miller wins his bid to appear on the Republican ticket in a special election for the state Senate.

A member of the 912 Patriots, Ernie Merisotis said he's a tea party conservative because his vision for the state is different from that of the incumbent.

The 49-year-old York Township man ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2010 and 2012. He said he wants full elimination of property taxes and thinks voters should have referendums to vote on all tax increases that surpass a cost-of-living index assigned to each school district.

"There are too many exceptions (that allow for) the increases beyond the index," he said.

He's opposed to "excessive legislator perks" beyond salary and mileage, and he thinks representatives should show receipts for expenses "to prove that they were where they said they were" before they can get per diems.

Merisotis said he would like a smaller government with a part-time Legislature.

"They only meet in Harrisburg 60-90 days per year and they should be paid accordingly," he said. "We need a true citizen Legislature instead of people staying in there for life and answering to special interests."

But Merisotis said he's opposed to pre-set term limits, because the "voters are the ultimate term limits."

The government also needs to be more transparent, he said, and he wants easy-to-read online publications highlighting legislator expenses, voting records, and other information.

Background: Merisotis said he's a U.S. Army veteran and owned a restaurant for 10 years, and he has worked a safety trainer at a York trucking company for the past three years.

He graduated from the Christian School of York in 1982 and earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Shippensburg University in 1986, he said.

New redistricting boundaries will be in effect for the May 20 election. The 93rd will include East Hopewell, Fawn, Hopewell, North Hopewell, Springfield and York townships and the boroughs of Cross Roads, Dallastown, Fawn Grove, Jacobus, Loganville, Seven Valleys, Shrewsbury, Stewartstown, Winterstown and Yoe.

Another special election?: State Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, who's running for the 28th Senate District, has held the 93rd House District since 1999.

Miller can legally run for both it and the Senate, but he can't hold both seats.

If he wins the March 18 special election for the state Senate, he would likely have to take his seat in the Senate within days, said Ron Ruman, press secretary for the Department of State, and that would spark another special election to fill his House seat.

Miller said he will only consider running for the House and the Senate simultaneously if he isn't the local Republican party's nominee for the special election.

At least one candidate -- Merisotis -- is running for Miller's House seat. County Republican chairman Bob Wilson said some other Republicans are also considering a run, but they have yet to announce their candidacy.

-- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.