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Another GOP candidate announces for Shuster's seat

February 08, 2001|By STACEY DANZUSO, Chambersburg

Another GOP candidate announces for Shuster's seat



SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - Another Franklin County Republican entered the race for retired U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster's seat Tuesday, as the party prepares to choose its nominee next week.

Stephen Luhrs, past president of The Beistle Co. in Shippensburg, Pa., said Tuesday he will seek the nomination to the 9th Congressional District seat Shuster vacated Jan. 31.

Luhrs, 49, said in a statement that he is interested in creating jobs and ensuring the economic vitality of Pennsylvania.

He has served as a past president of the Shippensburg Chamber of Commerce, a director of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the Capital Region Economic Development Corporation, and several other business-related groups.

"Clearly I have been an advocate for a good business climate in Pennsylvania," he said in a statement. "I don't believe commerce is some sort of predatory animal. I feel strongly that when Pennsylvania's businesses are healthy and prosperous, workers and government both benefit."

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Luhrs has also served on boards at Shippensburg University, Carlisle Hospital and the Franklin County Charitable Foundation.

Luhrs decision came a day after Gov. Tom Ridge announced the special election will take place May 15, the day of the statewide primaries.

A number of candidates have expressed interest in the seat, but state Rep. Patrick Fleagle, R-Waynesboro, is the front-runner in the county.

Allen Twigg, president of the Franklin County Republican Party, has said he will throw his support behind Fleagle at the Feb. 17 nominating convention where Franklin County has 33 of 133 conferees from 11 counties in the 9th District.

Other top candidates from outside the county are William Shuster, Bud Shuster's son, and Fulton County Treasurer Bonnie Mellott Keefer.

The state Democratic Committee will officially nominate Scott Conklin, a Centre County commissioner, as its candidate Saturday.

The Green Party, the only other party that will have a candidate on the ballot in May, has selected Alanna Hartzok, of Chambersburg, as its candidate.

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