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Spotlight: July 2016 Representative Seth Grove

Seth Grove Photo

Name:  Rep. Seth Grove      

District: 196th– York County       

Date Elected: November, 2009


-What made you decide to run for the House/Senate?

As a former legislative staff member, I had the pleasure of working for some wonderful State House members and a Congressman.  The decision point came when I realized constituents were asking the same questions, about the same issues.  I wanted to run and address these issues.


-What do you find most rewarding about being a state legislator?

Problem solving and helping people are the two most rewarding aspects of being a state legislator.  It is just that simple for me.  I enjoy the challenges of public policy and trying to navigate the bureaucracy to assist my constituents.


-Whom do you admire in politics?

Definitely my former employers and now colleagues: Stan Saylor, Keith Gillespie, and Todd Platts.  They have been great mentors to me.


-What advice would you give to someone thinking about getting involved in politics?

Politics is the most frustrating, fun, and addicting past time that is capable of changing the future.  Public policy touches all things, so getting involved in politics is an important thing to do.


What is your proudest political accomplishment in elective office so far?

Being considered one of the hardest working legislators.  Being recognized for what you do, whether it is public or behind the scenes, is a tremendous honor.


Who is your favorite character in a television show, movie or book?  And is it someone you relate to, admire or strive to be?

I have watched most of John Wayne’s movie and the “tough as nails” hero whom overcomes all odds has always been a positive influence in my life.  Simple themes like: “fight the ethical and moral fight”, “help those in need”, and “protect the weak”, were ingrained in most of the “Dukes” films.

Wolf Borrows $2 Billion

While campaigning in 2014, Wolf ran several ads criticizing then-Gov. Tom Corbett for taking out a $1.5 billion loan to cover, prompting some to question his latest move.

Spotlight: Representative Martina White


Martina White

General info: Name: Representative Martina White
District: 170th Date Elected: March 24, 2015

What made you decide to run for the House/Senate?
I decided to run for State Representative because I knew I could have a positive impact on people. As a financial advisor I saw the struggles families faced and how important good paying jobs are to their ability to afford a quality education for their children, plan for their retirement, and pay off debt. Running for office is a rewarding career and fits very well with my background of serving others.
What do you find most rewarding about being a state legislator?
As a state legislator I’m able to help constituents find solutions to issues they are facing. Seeing friends and neighbors leave our office happy because we were able to help them is the most rewarding aspect of my career.
Whom do you admire in politics?
State Representative John Taylor who I believe is the most well respected legislator in all of Pennsylvania. He works extremely hard and has for decades all for the benefit of his constituents. He has been able to bridge the divide when it comes to partisan politics. John Taylor taught me to implement strategies and find solutions that are agreeable to members on both sides of the isle that also benefit people across our great commonwealth.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about getting involved in politics?
If you are looking to get your foot in the door of the political world I recommend you contact the local political party headquarters you affiliate with and learn how to get involved with a campaign, run for office yourself, or even get introduced to politicians by volunteering in their office.
What is your proudest political accomplishment in elective office so far?
Passing house bill 1538 successfully through the House with bipartisan support to protect the lives of those who protect us. With this bill officers who discharge their service weapon would no longer have their names disclosed by our public officials until the investigation is complete. This gives time for facts to be sorted out and to keep the officers’ and their families safe from unjust public retribution.
Who is your favorite character in a television show, movie or book? And is it someone you relate to, admire or strive to be?
Veep’s Selina Meyer’s although there are many faults we could all point to with this character and her policies. I admire her for being herself, for her strong will to achieve something great, and her witty sense of humor.


Spotlight: Representative Justin Simmons

Justin Simmons

Name:  Representative Justin J. Simmons      

District: 131st                                      

Date Elected: December 1st, 2010


What made you decide to run for the House/Senate?

Well, I was in a unique situation.  I decided to challenge an incumbent of my own party.  Now, you may be asking, why did I do this? As someone who grew up in the 131st district, I knew the incumbent of my own party that I was challenging was completely out of touch with the district and a total Harrisburg insider.  As a young person, I’m passionate about reforming our Commonwealth.  After I shocked the establishment and beat the incumbent in the primary by over 10 points, I started to lead.  For instance, I don’t take the pension, per diems, state car, cell phone, and mileage.  I have also been a leader in the House on these issues.  Two of the most important things I believe we can do to reform Harrisburg is to reduce the size of the legislature and move public employees into a defined contribution system like 90% of the private sector participates in.  I will continue to fight for this.


What do you find most rewarding about being a state legislator?

Helping people.  Nothing satisfies me more than when my district office can solve a problem for a constituent.  I’m passionate about making a difference in peoples lives.


Whom do you admire in politics?

Well, going back, Ronald Reagan.  My wife and I actually had our first daughter a week ago and named her Reagan.  I truly believe the man was brilliant and knew how to build consensus.  When was the last national candidate to win 49 states?  Enough said!


What advice would you give to someone thinking about getting involved in politics?

First, know what you believe in.  You have to truly believe what you’re espousing or you will be a failure.  Second, work extremely hard.  When I first ran, nobody believed in me.  But, I knocked on over 18,000 doors and won by over 14% points in a district that was Democrat +8 on registration in the general election.  I truly believe in retail politics and getting to know your constituents.  Nothing else is more important.


What is your proudest political accomplishment in elective office so far?

Well, I’m proud to have had two bills signed into law in each session I’ve been elected to. It’s amazing to me that some members have been in the House of Representatives for over 14 years and haven’t had one bill signed into law!  My first bill, HB 1857, allowed county home rule charter counties to include referendum requirements for local government borrowing in addition to any currently contained in the Local Government Unit Debt Act.  This was a victory for taxpayers.  In my home county of Lehigh, when voters were given this option, they voted 74%-26% in favor of having this option.

My second bill, Act 143 of 2014, was signed into law by Governor Corbett in 2014.  I’m extremely passionate about children and I’m so proud that this bill passed.  Prior to this legislation, each year in the Commonwealth, an estimated 6,000 infants and toddlers were considered to be homeless.  Some live in shelters, others are in temporary housing, or they move from place to place with a single mother.  What my legislation did was to qualify homeless youngsters under age 3 for tracking that allows them to receive critical early intervention services from the Commonwealth.  Not only does this look out for children, but by intervening early in a homeless child’s life, we will save money for the taxpayer.  It’s a win win situation.

Who is your favorite character in a television show, movie or book?  And is it someone you relate to, admire or strive to be?

My favorite character in a movie is Bruce Willis’s character in DieHard, John McLane.  I always pull for the scrappy, no- nonsense underdog.  I’ve always been an underdog and scrappy so I very much relate to that character.  I don’t necessarily strive to be him but John McLane is definitely my favorite character in movies.


Senate, House Leaders Call on Wolf to Protect Excellent Teachers

Republican Party leaders, school board representatives and education advocates urged Governor Tom Wolf to support PA schools to sign House Bill 805.  If implemented, The Protecting Excellent Teachers Act would have demolished the method of seniority-based layoffs; instead, teacher performance and quality would guide layoff and reinstatement decisions.

Tobash’s Hybrid Pension Plan Passes House Committee

Republican Representative Mike Tobash’s legislation won the votes and support of the House State Government Committee. House Bill 1499 will create a reformed retirement benefit plan, with both defined benefit and defined contribution factors for future state and public school employees.

GOP Presses Wolf on Education Funding Priorities

State Republican Lawmakers pushed for Gov. Tom Wolf to approve fiscal code which was recently passed by both chambers of the Legislature.  The Fiscal Code would provide more funding for the Delaware County school districts along with many other school districts in the state. Wolf had previously vetoed the code


House Approves Barrar’s Bill to Protect Consumers from Identity Theft

The House approved Bill 1184, sponsored by Rep. Steve Barrar, will protect Commonwealth citizens against identity theft. The Bill revamps the Credit Reporting Agency Act by abolishing provisions that allow a consumer’s credit report security freeze to expire after seven years. The Bill ensures that the freeze will remain effective until the credit-reporting agency obtains a request to remove the freeze.

Greiner Shepherds Historic Ignition Interlock Legislation to Overwhelming Passage in House

State Representative Keith Greiner’s legislation passed in the House of Representatives. Senate Bill will make the ignition interlock program mandatory for some first time DUI offenders. In cases where the interlock program occurs, the driver’s license suspension requirement reduces.

Attorney General Candidate John Rafferty Announces Plan to Fight Heroin in Pennsylvania

Senator John Rafferty, a candidate for Attorney General, revealed his plan to fight the heroin epidemic in Pennsylvania. He wants to create a Heroin Strike Force in order to provide additional training for law enforcement along with reformed coordination and communication between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.