93rd District House race profile: Rivera-Lytle vs. Jones

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
FILE - In this July 14, 2018, file photo, computer mouse pads with Secure the Vote logo on them are seen on a vendor's table at a convention of state secretaries of state in Philadelphia. As alarms blare about Russian interference in U.S. elections, the Trump administration is facing criticism that it has no clear national strategy to protect the country during the upcoming midterms and beyond. Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized the administration’s response as fragmented, without enough coordination across federal agencies. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

Pennsylvania's 93rd House District is the only one in York County that isn't being defended by an incumbent in the upcoming general election.

The seat has remained red for 45 years, but Democrat Delma Rivera-Lytle is hoping to use her party's enthusiasm to beat Republican businessman Mike Jones on Nov. 6 and turn the seat blue.

More:Rivera-Lytle kicks off 93rd District campaign with Gov. Wolf, Fetterman

The 93rd District includes the townships of Hopewell, East Hopewell, North Hopewell, Fawn, Springfield and York, and the boroughs of Dallastown, Cross Roads, Fawn Grove, Jacobus, Loganville, Seven Valleys, Shrewsbury, Stewartstown, Winterstown and Yoe.

The seat is currently held by Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, who is vacating the seat to pursue the 28th District Senate seat.

More:28th District Senate race profile: Higgins vs. Phillips-Hill

Governor Tom Wolf talks with Delma Rivera-Lytle, when arriving for Rivera-Lytle's campaign kick-off  for the 93rd State Legislative District, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018.  John A. Pavoncello photo

Rivera-Lytle works as the diversity education specialist at Central York Middle School, serves on the board of the local Latino advocacy nonprofit Latinos Unidos of York and is on Gov. Tom Wolf's Commission on Latino Affairs.

A longtime resident of Seven Valleys, she first became interested in running for office after becoming "outraged" by comments from U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-York County, about Puerto Rico last year.

When the Democratic Party of York County put out a call for candidates in August after former nominee Meggan O’Rourke withdrew from the race for personal reasons, Rivera-Lytle answered it.

Shortly afterward, the county party chose her as the nominee, and the state party approved her candidacy that same month.

Despite being late to the race, she's already received endorsements from Wolf and his running mate, John Fetterman.

"I would describe (the race) like it’s been a whirlwind," Rivera-Lytle said. "Many people are energized in the Democratic party. I thought that getting into the race late might be a hindrance, but I feel like I’m doing very well.”

The Democratic nominee's political platform focuses on increasing education funding, investing in infrastructure and addressing the opioid crisis.

It also includes improving access to healthcare, increasing employment and housing opportunities and continuing humanitarian efforts such as her previous work in Puerto Rico.

A wife of a Republican, she often cites her ability to work across the political isle.

"Like my slogan says, we are making a difference together," Rivera-Lytle said. "I’ve always been a good person for mediating and an advocate for people who like civil discourse."

Longtime businessman Mike Jones, of Dallastown, will be running as Republican for the 93rd District state House seat in 2018.

Jones also is a York County native who grew up in Dallastown. He serves on the Dallastown Area school board and is an advisory board member of Habitat for Humanity.

A businessman by trade, Jones was employed by St. Onge, a York-based supply chain engineering and logistics consulting firm, and eventually worked his way up to president, a position he served in for 11 years.

Jones said he became interested in politics after a tour of the state Capitol held by Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner, who was then a Senator for the 28th District.

"I learned there's a real need in politics for people with solid business experience and life experience," he said. "Politics isn’t intended to be a career; it's attended to be a service."

As a result, Jones is hoping to use his business mentality to "get people to come together," emphasize efficiency in government and make York County competitive economically.

He said the most important aspects of his platform are eliminating residential school property taxes, solving the skilled labor crisis through increased training and loosening regulations on businesses.

Jones also supports cutting excess spending in budgets and minimizing government involvement in citizens' lives.

In terms of Democratic enthusiasm often touted this election cycle, Jones said he doesn't see it as much at the state level as he does at the federal level. But he added he still isn't going to risk it.

“I don’t take anything for granted," he said. We're going to work really hard. We're on the right track, and I think we're doing even better than we expected."

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