Harrisburg attorney Ken Lee, 51, declared his candidacy at the York County Democratic Party's campaign kickoff rally earlier this year.
Lee, who lives in Cumberland County, said the 4th Congressional District needs an advocate in Congress who will be a vocal champion for the region.
His campaign will focus on "kids, kids, kids," he said. Many of Pennsylvania's young people are leaving the state, and and those who come for educational opportunities -- he cited engineering programs in the Pittsburgh area -- flee as soon as they graduate, Lee said.
"We have an opportunity to build something here," he said. "Until we get younger, we're going to have the same economic challenges."
Lee applauded Platts' service and said he hopes to represent the district "with the same humility and congeniality and professionalism," but he said the area needs someone to promote its agriculture, rich history and robust workforce.
When asked how he would fix the national debt, Lee said he favors or a combination of both with the Bowles-Simpson Report providing guidance as to closing tax loopholes and lowering tax rates across the board, with one additional component - a robust increase in investment for infrastructure and education.
"Not until after World War II and the explosion of public education (primary and secondary) did this country's population finally exceed a 50 percent literacy rate," he said. "Studies show that the vast majority of the poor are either functionally illiterate or at the lowest levels of the literacy scale."
He said lifetime incomes of those who obtain a higher education are substantially greater than those who do not.
"The past 60 years have demonstrated that investment in education coupled with strong infrastructure investment has propelled this country to sustainable, long-term, economic expansion, and both are necessary for any viable future," he said.