Dems gear up for November
Local Democratic candidates running in the November election met last week at the Eicher Arts Center in Ephrata.
The event was officially a fund-raiser for Bryan Sanguinito who is running for the 99th House seat that opened when Republican Gordon Denlinger opted to run for the senate seat vacated by Mike Brubaker.
But the Eicher event drew candidates Tom Houghton, Gary Schreckengost, Brian Kresge who spoke briefly about their platforms.
Schreckengost, a teacher in the Lampeter-Strasburg School District faces Republican Ryan Aument who defeated Denlinger in the GOP primary race for Lancaster County’s 36th district in the state Senate.
Brian Kresge who is challenging Mindy Fee in the 37th district, is a senior application developer with a Lancaster accounting and information technology services firm.
Houghton, of London Grove Township in Chester County, is an attorney and former state representative who is taking on Joe Pitts in the 16th Congressional District.
The Ephrata Review, which will do profiles on all of the candidates in the coming weeks, begins with a brief today on Sanguinito.
A middle school music teacher in the Reading School District, Sanguinito has a passion for education, teachers and students.
He is “honored and humbled to be fighting for our children, our working families, our hometown heroes, and our Constitutional and God-given rights.”
“It makes no sense that programs that help veterans, senior citizens, and schoolchildren continue to be cut, but our property taxes continue to rise,” Sanguinito said. “That’s why I am running for state representative: to fight for our families and our future.”
Sanguinito faces off against the GOP candidate David H. Zimmerman of East Earl. The 99th District includes Caernarvon, Earl, East Earl, Ephrata and Salisbury townships, and Akron, Ephrata, New Holland, and Terre Hill boroughs.
Since 2003, Ephrata has been home to Sanguinito and his wife Laura, an Ephrata Area High School graduate. As a music teacher, Sanguinito became deeply concerned about the “deplorable conditions facing students and colleagues in Reading.”
He became president of the Reading Education Association, which served 1,275 educators and represented 18,000 students in what was the poorest city in America.
“Despite mold-soaked classrooms, ceilings that literally gushed waterfalls, and extreme temperatures that were making staff and students sick, a total of nearly $18 million was cut in 2011 from the Reading School District’s state funding,” Sanguinito said.
“As a result, educational programs were eliminated, school buildings were shut, class sizes increased to the point where no more desks were left, hundreds of staff members were laid off, and environmental conditions for school children and district employees got even worse,” he said.
He’s organized rallies, gave speeches at the Capitol Rotunda, hosted a CNN documentary, visited state senators, testified to state representatives, written opinion pieces, conducted radio, newspaper, and television interviews, and even visited the White House to declare, “Our children deserve better!”
Though Sanguinito is no longer working with the union, he said he continues “to stand up and speak out for children and adults who are being denied their basic rights and stripped of their dignity is stronger than ever.”
Sanguinito noted that The 99th District — which includes the Ephrata Area School District, the Eastern Lancaster County School District, and part of the Pequea Valley School District — has lost millions of dollars in state funding since 2010.
“Yet, property taxes keep going up,” Sanguinito said. “We can all agree — Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike — our children and their hard-working families deserve better.”
Patrick Burns is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at email@example.com or at 721-4455¶
Photo by Patrick Burns
Democrat Bryan Sanguinito is running for the 99th House seat against Republican David H. Zimmerman of East Earl. The 99th District includes Caernarvon, Earl, East Earl, Ephrata and Salisbury townships, and Akron, Ephrata, New Holland and Terre Hill boroughs.