Ann Womble, chairwoman of the Republican Committee of Lancaster County told a cheering crowd Tuesday night that the party’s nominating process works.
Her proof was the solid victory by Ryan Aument, the endorsed candidate, over Gordon Denlinger.
Aument will be running in the November general election against Elizabeth Township Democrat Gary Schreckengost, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Aument’s victory was greeted with the cheers of a packed crowd in the ballroom of the General Sutter Inn in Lititz. After he was introduced by state representative Dave Hickernell, Aument emerged from the kitchen and made his way through a crowd of smiling backslappers and handshakers to stand at the head of the room with six of his fellow Pennsylvania House of Representatives members. He called his wife, Kate, to the podium to stand by his side, and said he wanted to thank her publicly before 300 of their best friends.
He said the voters who supported him had not only shown their belief in stronger communities through results oriented government.
“Those beliefs have now been endorsed by Republican party voters, and we will take that message to all the voters in the fall,” he said
Aument congratulated Denlinger on a hard-fought campaign, and urged both Denlinger and the people who voted for him to put their differences aside for the betterment of the people and communities of Lancaster County.
“I will not close my door to those people who want to do things differently,” Aument said. “Our differences are not as big as the goals we have in common.”
In remarks after the the cheers had subsided, and the people had started to leave, and the TV lights were turned off, Aument said his next step is to take a few days off. Then, he said, the legislature will be back in session, and they’ll be wrestling with the budget, which he expects will be adopted by the end of June.
In July, he’ll start planning for November’s general election. While the 36th may seem safely Republican to many, Aument said he will not take anything for granted, and he expects to mount a spirited campaign.
There’s a laundry list of issues that could be addressed in the fall. He has been a supporter of a movement to reduce the size of the legislature, from 203 members in the House to 150, and from 50 to 38 in the Senate.
He sees a need for property tax reform and the way schools are funded by state money. Before anything can be done about property tax relief, he said, something needs to done about the flawed funding pattern by which the state allocates funds to schools. He said some school districts with declining enrollments are getting more money per pupil than districts with expanding student populations.
Dick Wanner is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org