Republican Julie Wheeler announces run for Wagner's Senate seat
A self-proclaimed conservative outsider touting more than two decades in the private sector is attempting to follow in the political footsteps of a man who used a similar pitch when he won.
Julie Wheeler, of Windsor Township, announced Tuesday, Dec. 12, that she will seek the Republican nomination for the 28th state Senate seat, currently held by Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township.
Wagner has said he will not seek re-election in 2018 as he pursues the Republican nomination for governor, and Wheeler is now the third candidate to announce a run for the seat that covers the majority of York County.
Wheeler joins state Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township, and West York Mayor Shawn Mauck, who is seeking to become the first Democrat to hold the seat since 1994.
Wheeler, a general manager at General Electric, said she decided to run because she believes Harrisburg needs an "outsider voice with real-world experience."
A lifelong county resident and Republican, Wheeler said she's similar to Wagner in that they both believe a solid private sector business background can be used to help develop policies and improve government.
She said her primary goal in Harrisburg would be to find ways to make government smaller and more efficient.
Unlike Wagner, who has continued to operate his businesses as senator, Wheeler said she would leave her job at GE if elected.
"The taxpayers would be paying me to do a good job," she said.
Wheeler also said she would prioritize working in a bipartisan manner to ensure budgets are completed on time and serve all residents in her district.
If Wheeler or Phillips-Hill wins the election, the 28th state Senate district would have its first female senator.
No female senators currently represent York County, though former Sen. Pat Vance represented parts of the county from 2005 until she retired last year.
— Reach David Weissman at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.