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Third candidate enters race for 89th seat

January 29, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A day after his former boss announced he will retire at the end of the year, Chambersburg businessman Doug Harbach said Wednesday he is seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed state Rep. Jeff Coy in the 89th District.

Harbach, 43, a Greene Township resident, worked as a legislative assistant for Coy, D-Franklin/Cumberland, from 1984 to 1990.

Coy announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of the year after 11 terms in office.

Harbach is the third person to officially declare his candidacy. Tuesday, Greene Township Supervisor Rob Kauffman and attorney Chris Sheffield of Shippensburg, Pa., announced they are running for the GOP nomination in the April 27 primary.

Harbach is vice president of e-LYNNX Corp., a technology consulting company he was been with for 12 years, and recently served two years as chairman of the board of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce.

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Harbach will attempt to do what Coy did throughout his more than 21 years in office - win election in a predominantly Republican district.

"They split their tickets before and they'll do it again," Harbach said Wednesday. "They vote on the ballot for the person they think will do the best job in leadership in Harrisburg."

Health care, property tax reform and education are three issues Harbach said he will focus on in the campaign.

"The state has still not enacted legislation dealing with medical malpractice reform," setting caps on awards for pain and suffering, Harbach said.

He called the property tax system for local governments and schools "outdated."

"We need to go to a fair and equitable system more in line with the earned income tax," Harbach said.

People should be taxed according to what they earn "rather than on something you own or owe on," he said.

"The state has to be innovative in finding ways to put the best teachers in the classroom," he said.

Harbach ran for Franklin County Clerk of Courts in 1991 and ran for Greene Township supervisor in 1997. He lost both races.

Kauffman, 32, also has experience as a legislative assistant, having worked for state Rep. Patrick Fleagle, R-Franklin, for two years. He also worked for the House Republican Caucus for two years before becoming a Greene Township supervisor four years ago.

Sheffield, 37, has a law practice in Chambersburg. A former Marine, he ran against Coy in 2002, losing that race by 477 votes.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives candidates have to collect 300 signatures on petitions by Feb. 17 to appear on the primary ballot.

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