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Egolf will not seek re-election

December 24, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With the announcement by State Rep. C. Allan Egolf that he will not seek re-election in 2004, potential candidates have fewer than two months to decide if they want to run for the 86th District seat.

The 65-year-old Republican is midway through his sixth two-year term representing Perry County and northwestern Franklin County. The portion of the district in Franklin County includes St. Thomas, Metal and Fannett townships and parts of Hamilton and Peters townships.

In announcing he would not seek a seventh term, Egolf said he wants to spend more time with his family and grandchildren. "You hear that a lot, but it's true ... They're growing. They won't wait for you," he said Tuesday.

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The retired Air Force colonel was first elected in 1992 and, in the heavily Republican district, often ran without opposition.

"I never met a tax hike I liked," said Egolf, who voted against the state income tax increase approved by the House late Monday. "There's no need for it. We could have made cuts in spending."

"I'm big on families ... The importance of maintaining families," Egolf said when asked what is his most important issue. The Perry County resident cited his introduction of the Sanctity of Marriage Act and legislation that doubled penalties for parents convicted of killing a child through abuse.

He also introduced legislation requiring schools to display the American flag in classrooms and another that prohibited inmates from collecting unemployment benefits.

Before he leaves the House, Egolf said he wants to see passage of legislation requiring Internet filters for school and public library computers to prevent children from accessing pornography. He also supports legislation that would give convicted serial child molesters 15 years to life in prison.

Those thinking of running must soon decide. The 2004 primary is April 27 and the first day to circulate petitions is Jan. 27.

House candidate petitions with at least 300 signatures must be filed with the Department of State by Feb. 17, according to the state election calendar.

"At this point, I haven't entertained the idea seriously," G. Warren Elliott, chairman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, said when asked if he is considering a run.

"I've had a lot of phone calls about it and I'm very complimented by it," said Elliott, who lives in Hamilton Township. "Right now, I'm focused on enjoying the holidays with my family."

"I don't even know who to persuade to run," Franklin County Republican Committee Chairman Allen V. Twigg said.

Two Perry County Republicans have made up their minds.

Mark Keller, chairman of the board of commissioners, announced over the weekend he would run. Rye Township Supervisor Sharon Cole said Tuesday she will seek the GOP nomination.

"I know how government works and I have the ability to bring parties together to work on a common cause," said Keller, a commissioner since 1996 and a former township supervisor. "I think I can bring a lot of expertise back to the 86th district."

Cole, who is a legislative research analyst for the House, said she ran for the seat in 1992, finishing third behind Egolf in a nine-candidate primary race.

"I want to stop the frivolous spending, and since I research it, I know where it is," she said.

Cole said her job with the Local Government Committee has given her experience in issues relating to counties, townships and boroughs.

According to voter registration figures from the two counties, Republicans hold a better than 2-to-1 edge in registered voters in the 86th District, with more than 21,000 Republicans to about 9,200 Democrats.

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