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Most will run unopposed in Pa. primary

February 02, 2000|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Interest among Franklin County voters in the April 4 primary will likely depend on how many candidates are left standing in the presidential race since most state elected officials will have a free ride going into the November general election.

None of the state Senate or House incumbents faces a primary challenge, according to Stephanie Rimer, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State. The deadline to file petitions for the primary was Tuesday, Jan. 26, she said.

State Rep. Jeff Coy, 48, D-89th, faces no Democratic opposition in his bid for a 19th term in the House. Coy's district covers the Chambersburg area in Franklin County and the Shippensburg area in Cumberland County where he lives.

Coy will face an opponent in November, Republican Kenneth L. Gill of Chambersburg, who was the campaign committee chairman for Coy's 1998 general election opponent, Franklin County Commissioner Bob Thomas. Gill is a finance officer at the Penn State University Mont Alto Campus.

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In the 90th District Rep. Patrick Fleagle, 48, of Waynesboro, a five-term Republican is unopposed in the GOP primary. No Democrats filed to run for that party's nomination in April, according to Rimer.

Rep. Allan Egolf, 61, R-86th, whose district covers portions of Perry, Cumberland and Franklin Counties, faces no opposition in his primary and no Democrat is running in the primary. He is running for a fifth term.

State Sen. Terry Punt, 50, R-33rd, is running for a fourth four-year term without GOP or Democratic opposition. The Waynesboro, Pa., resident spent 10 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives before winning his Senate seat in 1988.

U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, 68, R-9th, should cruise into his 15th term in the House. The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is unopposed in the Republican primary and there are no Democratic candidates, Rimer said. Shuster has won both the GOP and Democratic primaries seven times.

One race that is guaranteed on April 4 is the nomination for the Democrat to oppose Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.

U.S. Rep. Ron Klinkof Westmoreland County and State Sen. Allyson Schwartz of Philadelphia lead a field of six candidates for the Democratic nomination. The others are Bob Rovner, Murray Levin and Phil Berg of Montgomery County and Tom Foley of Dauphin County.

Santorum, 41, is seeking his second six-year term in the Senate.

Pennsylvania normally holds its primary in May, except in presidential election years when it is held a month earlier.

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