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Three southwestern municipalities in York County will soon be without state government representation following the retirement of Republican Sen. Richard Alloway.

The senator, who has served Adams County and parts of Cumberland, Franklin and York counties since 2009, announced his retirement Friday, Jan. 18.

Once his retirement takes effect Thursday, Feb. 28, Hanover and Penn and West Manheim townships will be without representation in the 50-member state Senate until a special election is held.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to hold this position and to be the voice for local communities in Harrisburg for the past decade in the Senate," Alloway said. "I am extremely grateful for the trust that has been placed in me by community residents, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank all of my constituents for giving me that amazing opportunity and for helping me to be a better elected official."

Alloway, 50, has served as the majority caucus secretary in the Senate since 2014, where he oversees executive nominations. He previously served as the caucus' administrator and as chairman of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee.

Perhaps most notably, he's been a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights and was a champion for Libre's Law, a piece of legislation that passed last year helping protect animals against abuse and neglect.

In the statement, Alloway said it is time for him to pursue new opportunities after his decade in the Senate.

"After a decade of fighting to ensure our interests are represented in the General Assembly, the time has come for me to move on to other endeavors and pursue new opportunities," he said. 

For now, Alloway's plan is to reopen his private law practice in Chambersburg, Franklin County, he said. He is also considering taking up lobbying in Harrisburg, but he has yet to hear from any interested employers.

Special election: Newly sworn-in Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will be in charge of calling a special election to fill the remainder of Alloway's term, which ends in 2020. A date has not yet been set.

For special elections, each party nominates an individual who is chosen by party leaders instead of a typical primary election. The two then face off in a general election, and the winner finishes out the previous lawmaker's term.

Democrats have rarely put up much of a fight in the district: Alloway ran unopposed in the 2016 elections, and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton grabbed roughly 29 percent of the votes that same year.

The event will be the second special election for the state Senate, the other being for the seat of former Sen. Guy Reschenthaler —  who represented parts of Allegheny and Washington counties — on April 2.

Reschenthaler, a Republican, left the seat to pursue a successful bid to represent the 14th District in Congress.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.

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