Washington Twp. man seeks Sen. Vance's seat

Greg Gross

A Washington Township attorney has joined the growing list of candidates seeking to fill outgoing state Sen. Pat Vance's seat.

Scott Harper, who has a law office in West York, announced recently that he will run for the office as a Republican.

"I always wanted to run for state government, especially when the last couple of elections the representative and senator in my district ran unopposed, and I thought the voters deserve a choice instead of no choice," Harper said in an email interview. "I am now a choice for them."

Vance, a 79-year-old Republican, is not seeking re-election to a fourth term.

The candidate: Harper, 46, has been practicing law for 11 years after completing his law degree by attending night classes at Widener School of Law.

"My profession has prepared me for the Senate because I have a specialized understanding of the laws of this Commonwealth and how those laws affect everyone’s lives," he said. "I have seen many areas of government that need reformed or modified to run better and/or change lives for the better."

Harper, who was born and raised in Mifflin County, was a business owner before he went into law. He is a 1991 graduate of Juniata College and moved to York County that same year.

If elected to the Senate, Harper said his top priority would be to eliminate property tax while also looking out for "older, sicker and poorer" Pennsylvanians.

"I’m a leader, not a follower. Additionally, I’m not beholden to anyone or any special interest group.  Also, I’m not connected nor a puppet for the party," he said.

Harper is currently an elected auditor in Washington Township, the only elected post he's held.

Other candidates: Harper is the fourth person to announce his candidacy to represent the 31st Senate District. All are Republicans.

State Rep. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, was the first to toss his hat into the ring. Also running for the seat are Camp Hill-area dentist Brice Arndt and former NFL player Jon Ritchie.

In York County, the 31st Senate District includes an area that stretches from Fairview Township in the north to Jackson Township in the south, as well as a large swath of Cumberland County.

— Reach Greg Gross at GGross@yorkdispatch.com.