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HARRISBURG — A state senator from central Pennsylvania says he is running for Congress.

Sen. Lloyd Smucker said Monday that he will seek the 16th Congressional District seat held by fellow Republican Rep. Joe Pitts in next year's election.

Pitts is chairman of a key health panel on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He's planning to retire at the end of his 10th term in January 2017. American Conservative Union rates Pitts as Pennsylvania's most conservative member of Congress.

Smucker has served in the Legislature since 2009 and is chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Prior to the most recent redistricting, Smucker represented a portion of eastern York County.

The Lancaster County resident says he'd be an "effective problem solver" who will work to build a consensus on issues that concern his constituents.

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