Bittle not running for House seat

December 31, 1997

Bittle not running for House seat


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Family and professional commitments are keeping Timothy Bittle out of the running for the state House seat against current Rep. Jeffrey Coy, D-Franklin, in next year's election.

"I have come to the conclusion that there will be other opportunities to run for public office, but there is only one opportunity to be a father to a 6-year-old, a 2-year-old and a newborn," Bittle said in a prepared statement.

Bittle and his wife, Mary Jane, had their third child on Nov. 13.

There are also other professional opportunities on the horizon in which Bittle, executive director of the state House Labor Relations Committee, said he could use his experience in state government.


"Tim's a loyal Republican and he's worked very hard for the party. It's his decision," said Bart Stevens, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Committee.

The Chambersburg Republican ran close but unsuccessful campaigns against Coy during the last two elections.

"Tim's young, he has a young family ... I wouldn't look for him to fade away. I don't think we've seen the last of him," Stevens said.

With Bittle out of the running, the race so far is between Coy and Franklin County Commissioner Robert Thomas, a Republican who announced his candidacy for the 89th District last month.

"First of all, I think it will allow the Republican party to become united early ... In order to be successful we must keep it together," Thomas said.

It won't be as expensive to run now since money won't have to be spent to win the primary election with one Republican candidate, he said.

Though the numbers look good and Thomas should do well in the race, Stevens said it's still too early to predict the outcome, since other Republican and Democrat candidates could come forward.

The county Republican Committee will not endorse a candidate until after the primary election, Stevens said.

It could be tough to beat Coy in the November 1998 general election since Democrats in Harrisburg, Pa., are focusing their efforts on regaining the House this year, Thomas said.

"It's obvious they're going to focus a lot of money in this campaign," he said.

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