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Democrat to challenge Kauffman in 89th Pa. district

January 18, 2006|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin/Cumberland, will not have to look very far for a potential opponent in his bid for re-election this fall after a neighbor announced Tuesday he is running for the Democratic nomination.

Andrew Alosi, 27, of 1282 Fourth Ave., Tuesday announced he will run for the seat now occupied by first-term incumbent Kauffman, 31, of 1349 Fourth Ave. The primary will be Tuesday, May 16.

"I didn't decide to run based on what he is or is not doing" in office, Alosi said of Kauffman. "I'm running because I've always wanted to serve the public."

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Alosi said he has worked on local campaigns since he was a youth, including those of Shippensburg (Pa.) Mayor Bruce Hockersmith and former state Rep. Jeff Coy, a Democrat who was elected to represent the 89th District for 11 terms before resigning in 2004 to take a position with the state Gaming Board.

"I guess they planted the seeds on how important public service is," said Alosi, who has filed paperwork to form a campaign committee with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Alosi is a case manager for VisionQuest's South Mountain (Pa.) Lodge, where he said he has worked for more than three years. He is studying toward a degree in public administration from Shippensburg University, which he expects to complete in May.

"I intend to run a local race on local issues in the 89th District," said Alosi, formerly of Shippensburg. "I understand the struggles a lot of people go through," he said, noting the cost of paying for college tuition, health care and property taxes.

Alosi said the legislature is in need of reform, citing last summer's uproar over legislative pay raises, which he noted Kauffman voted against. Whether any other Democrats enter the primary race, Alosi said he looks forward to voters "having a choice in November."

At this point, Alosi said his focus is on getting the 300 signatures on nominating petitions needed to get on the primary ballot. Candidates can circulate nominating petitions between Feb. 14 and March 7, according to the 2006 Pennsylvania election calendar.

"My focus will be on what it has been since I've been elected - the people of the 89th District," said Kauffman, a former Greene Township supervisor who defeated Democratic nominee Douglas Harbach in 2004.

"My record is in line with the views of the people of my district," he said.

Although they live on the same street, Kauffman and Alosi said they are not acquainted.

The 89th District includes the boroughs of Chambersburg, Shippensburg and Orrstown; Greene, Letterkenny, Lurgan and Southampton townships and part of Guilford Township in Franklin County, and Shippensburg and Southampton townships in Cumberland County.

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