For the first time in a long time, Republicans have a candidate to run for the 95th state House District.
And, according to the chairman of the York County Republican Committee, they intend to win.
Republicans have named Tate their candidate for the seat, whose holder will represent York City, North York, West York, Spring Garden Township and part of West Manchester Township.
Tate will face Democrat Kevin Schreiber and Green Party candidate Bill Swartz.
Whoever wins will replace former state Rep. Eugene DePasquale, a Democrat from West York who won election in November to serve as the state's auditor general. To take the state post, DePasquale resigned his House seat, triggering the need for a special election at an undetermined time.
For voters, this is shaping up to be a choice between three of York City's staunchest advocates.
Tate, 45, is a graduate of Spring Grove High School, Temple University and current vice president of philanthropy at the York County Community Foundation. He's lived in York City for 23 years.
Tate described himself as a moderate who knows how to work with folks on both sides of the political aisle.
"We have so many issues in York, in central Pennsylvania, in the commonwealth, that deserve straightforward debate and deserve decisions made without political partisanship," he said.
He cited his years of experience working for Platts, state Sen. Mike Waugh and the community foundation as qualifications for holding office. In each role, Tate said, he's worked to improve the community.
"I see this as my opportunity to step up in another level of leadership," he said.
Tate identified education and property-tax reform as possible priorities if he is elected. He also said he'd like to work on improving government transparency and accountability.
Bob Wilson, chairman of the York County Republican Committee, said he believes Tate can be successful in the Democratic-leaning district.
"I'm excited, to be quite honest," Wilson said. "This is the first time in a very, very long time that we've had the opportunity to flip this seat."
Wilson described Tate as a "proven leader" with his finger on the pulse of the community.
"He understands the ins and outs of policy-making and decision-making," Wilson said. "He knows how to work with not just Republicans but Democrats as well."
"I think we've got ourselves a race here," he said.
- Erin James may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.