94th District House race profile: Snell vs. Saylor

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Election Day in York City, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Republican state Rep. Stan Saylor is the longest-serving York County delegate in the House, but Democratic challenger Steve Snell is on a mission to put a fresh face in the seat and start working on systemic changes to the state's political system.

Saylor has sat comfortably in the 94th House District seat for 13 terms, a total of 26 years. A Democrat has never held the seat since it was created in 1969.

The district includes Chanceford, Lower Chanceford, Windsor, Lower Windsor and Peach Bottom townships; Delta, East Prospect, Felton, Windsor, Red Lion, Yorkana boroughs; and parts of Springettsbury Township.

Pennsylvania House 94th District candidate Steve Snell speaks during the 2018 State of the County Committee Breakfast at Wisehaven Event Center in Windsor Township, Saturday, April 7, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Snell: Snell, new to state politics, has spent his whole life in the state and has resided in Windsor Township for 23 years.

In 1979, he earned his master’s degree in education from Millersville University in Lancaster County and later became a high school social studies teacher.

He also served on the Red Lion Area school board and was the executive officer for the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties for 30 years.

But after becoming frustrated with the "political rhetoric, impasse and division" in both federal and state politics, he decided to run against Saylor and to encourage bipartisan work in the General Assembly.

"We need people that have the ability to come together and reach across the isle," Snell said. "I think we're all tired of Democrats and Republicans standing in each corner and throwing rocks at each other."

Snell said he wants to focus on issues with "broad-based support," which to him include a variety of systematic changes to the state government.

These changes include implementing term limits, shrinking the Legislature and making it part time, creating an individual commission to draw congressional lines and banning gifts to legislators to "get huge amounts of corporate money out of the political process."

The candidate also supports an open primary election system in the state, property tax reform, early voting and automatic voter registration.

Snell said it has been difficult campaigning against someone who has been in office for 26 years, calling the experience an "unfair fight," but he believes running on a platform of change can reap success on Nov. 6 as long as voters turn out.

"I think we need to learn how to do things together," he said. "I don't want a career; I'm doing this to make a change."

Saylor: Saylor, a York County native, graduated from Dallastown Area High School and majored in political science at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He resides in Windsor Township.

Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, asked PJM to "withdraw" the "Independence Energy Connection" project. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The incumbent was first elected to the House in 1993, and he has since worked up the ladder of seniority.

In 2008, Saylor became the Republican Policy Committee chairman. In 2010, he was elected Republican whip and served in that role for five years. Once re-elected in 2016, he was named chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

His platform consists of making Pennsylvania job-friendly and competitive to keep workers in the state, implementing property tax reform and "breaking the cycle of poverty."

He boasts two balanced budgets as chairman of the appropriations committee and helped the state make its first deposit into the rainy day fund in more than a decade.

This experience, Saylor said, is why the district should continue to elect him,

"When you elect people, it's important they need to be somebody who knows what the needs of the community are and knows how to get things done," he said.

Saylor said he isn't worried about Democratic enthusiasm in the midterm elections because of his record, and he noted such enthusiasm is taking place in the "far-left" side of the Democratic party, which focuses on "higher taxes and socialism."

He said he is confident he can keep Pennsylvania moving forward and keep the ball rolling.

"We're not competing against other states anymore," Saylor said. "We're competing against other countries as a state. My main platform has always been about moving the ball forward, not political bickering."

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

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