Republican hoping to oust Congressman Scott Perry says their party has gone too far
A lifelong Republican who plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Scott Perry in the May primary election says the five-term incumbent and the GOP as a whole have gone too far — and that he no longer recognizes his party.
Brian Allen, a Mechanicsburg native who works at Penn State Children's Hospital in Hershey, said he doesn't consider himself a politician. But the GOP's embrace of extreme rhetoric at the expense of legitimate policies over the past five years prompted him to run, he said.
"What I see from the Republican Party now is fearmongering and creating this faux outrage," Allen said. "Talking about problems and then telling you who's to blame for it. But I don't see them talking about actual solutions to the problems we have."
Allen said Perry is emblematic of the party's shift.
Some of Allen's priorities, if he is elected, are lobbying for a national parental leave program, increasing the use of and investments in preventative medicine and reforming the country's mental health care system.
The priorities reflect his career as a psychologist, and he acknowledges they might not match those of many Republicans who supported former President Donald Trump — whose impeachment was justified, he added.
For example, Allen said he did not see any compelling evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Perry was a leading voice in the unfounded allegations of widespread voting fraud, and he objected to certifying Pennsylvania's results. His actions prompted calls for his resignation from across the state.
"When you were continuously suggesting the election was fraudulent, you are actively undermining the Constitution," Allen said.
On other matters: Allen said the country's border response is incoherent and has failed to address influxes of migrants at the border. But that was also the case under Trump, he noted.
In addition, Allen said it is wrong to demonize migrants with phrases like "migrant caravans" but that policies such as "catch-and-release" are not effective.
Perry's campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but the Federal Election Commission does list him as a candidate in the 2022 election.
Also listed as a candidate is former state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, a Democrat who lost to Perry by 6.6 percentage points in the 2020 election.
DePasquale, who now is an adjunct professor at Widener Law School in Dauphin County, said he hasn't decided if he will run, though he has filed to do so and his campaign still sends emails criticizing Perry.
“Scott won the election fair and square, but I’m not going away," DePasquale said.
The primary elections are scheduled for May 18. The 10th District includes northern York County, part of Cumberland County and all of Dauphin County.
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.