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Not the same
Editor, Record Express,
As a former legislator from Lancaster serving the people of the 43rd legislative district for 10 years from 2003-12, I am very interested in the upcoming primary election between my two former colleagues, Ryan Aument and Gordon Denlinger.
In speaking with some of my former constituents from the district, I was intrigued by the comment, “They are both great guys, and it doesn’t really matter who wins.” That statement compelled me to share my personal experience in working with both men vying to be the next Senator for the 36th Senatorial District.
I know both individuals personally and I know them well. There are distinct differences between these two individuals.
Ryan Aument is truly a “citizen legislator” who followed in the tradition of Representatives Katie True and others, myself included, and NEVER chose to receive the tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer-funded perks that supplement the rather generous salary of a Pennsylvania legislator. He has posted his personal and office expenses online for the public to review from the first day he entered the General Assembly.
Gordon Denlinger has received tens of thousands…perhaps over $100,000 in taxpayer funded per diems and mileage reimbursements during his career representing the 99th Legislative District.
A second distinct difference is a bit more intangible, but very important. The key to representing Lancaster well in Harrisburg is effectiveness. How do you get things accomplished in a very complicated universe? Candidly I would admit I personally found Harrisburg frustrating at times, which makes my affirmation of Ryan Aument all the more poignant.
In a very short time and in a very difficult environment, Representative Aument has managed to take on some of the most powerful lobbying unions to get legislation passed to better evaluate and reward effective teachers.
Additionally he was one of the key members of the House Labor Committee taking on the powerful Philadelphia and Allegheny County building trades. Ryan Aument has proven himself capable of “getting things done” in Harrisburg…something which I admire greatly.
On the other hand, Representative Denlinger is a legislator who is “against” most proposals, but seldom offers solutions to the often complicated issues facing Pennsylvania citizens. Even the Lancaster paper rated Gordon one of the “least effective” legislators in Lancaster County.
There is much more I could share, but suffice it to say from a former colleague’s perspective there are not two equally qualified, equally effective individuals seeking votes of Republicans in the 36th. In my opinion, Ryan Aument is clearly the better candidate for this office.
Representative PA House 43, ‘03-’12, retired