Four Republicans competing for the new 169th House district are among the candidates to be featured at an all-GOP breakfast and debate Saturday, March 15.
The forum is being hosted by the anti-abortion, "pro-family" Christian group ACTION, Americans for Christian Traditions In Our Nation.
Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, and his tea party primary challenger, Beth Roberts, will be included in the debate, as will Rep. Will Tallman, R-Adams/York, and primary challenger Bryan Gembusia. Tallman's district will no longer represent York County, as his seat is being moved entirely outside the county this year under the same redistricting that created the 169th.
The new district is moving from Philadelphia to the Hanover area because of growth in the most recent census.
The 169th will include Codorus, Heidelberg, Manheim, Penn, Shrewsbury and West Manheim townships and the boroughs of Glen Rock, Hanover, Jefferson, New Freedom and Railroad. The district will have a population of about 62,800, according to the state.
GOP candidates are semi-retired business owner Gene Montanarelli of Shrewsbury Township, attorney Kate Klunk of Hanover, West Manheim Township supervisor Marc Woerner, and former firefighter Leroy Wentz of Hanover. A Democrat has not announced candidacy.
How it will work: Each candidate will make opening remarks, then York County ACTION president Jay McKiernan will ask questions on the Christian group's key legislative concerns, he said. Those include Common Core education standards, gay marriage, spending priorities, and legislative reform such as reducing the size of legislature and passing term limits.
Each candidate will get an equal amount of time to respond, McKiernan said.
He said the tea party candidates typically agree with the group's positions, but "sometimes candidates are afraid to address social issues ... and we put them here where they have to tell everybody where they stand and what their values are."
A straw poll will also be conducted after the breakfast and debate, which is from 8:30-11 a.m. at Cross Keys Motor Inn restaurant, 6110 York Road in New Oxford. The cost is $20 per person. RSVP at www.yorkcountyaction.com by 5 p.m. Monday March 10.
For more information, call Angie Kline at 717-292-5706.
— Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.