Dem Hammond announces bid to oust Smucker

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
State House candidate Sarah Hammond talks with Bob Kefauver, former chairman of the Democratic Party of York County, at a Democratic Watch Party at Rockfish Public House in York City Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Bill Kalina photo

Sarah Hammond, a two-time failed Democratic candidate for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, is running for Congress in 2020, she announced recently.

Hammond is the only Democrat so far to announce a run for the 11th District seat held by Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster, which covers all of Lancaster County and southern York County.

"The Republican and Democratic party, each side has their flaws, and I think from the 2016 elections, we can see that there’s discontent with how people view the political system," she said Friday, Oct. 4.

Hammond, 26, used to live in Hanover but recently moved to East Lampeter Township in Lancaster County. She has a tough race ahead of her.

Jess King, a fellow progressive Democrat who ran against Smucker in 2018, lost by 18 points in the heavily Republican district.

But Hammond said she still sees the momentum King generated during her run.

A few of the top issues of Hammond's platform will be criminal justice reform, so-called Medicare for all and foreign trade. She supports the legalization of recreational marijuana and decriminalization of nonviolent drug offenses.

She also said she supports the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and that if there were sufficient evidence of misconduct, she would support impeachment.

Candidates who embrace progressive politics as a campaign strategy in York and Lancaster counties are "insane" and have no common sense about what the American people want, said Jeff Piccola, chairman of the York County Republican Committee.

"This is a case where three times will not be the charm," he said. "She’s a two-time loser, and now she’ll be a three-time loser."

In May, Hammond lost the 33rd Senate District special election to now-state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, who took 69.5% of the vote.

And in 2018, she lost the 169th House District race to Rep. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover, who took 70.6% of the vote.

Chad Baker, chairman of the Democratic Party of York County, could not be reached for comment.

More:Mastriano defeats Hammond, will replace former Sen. Richard Alloway

More:Rep. Kate Klunk re-elected to 169th District House seat in southern York County

More:Smucker, Perry blast Dems' impeachment probe