Challenger to take on seven-year senator in Pennsylvania's 31st District

March 15, 2012|By Rebecca LeFever

March 15--YORK, Pa. -- Each candidate running for the District 31 state senate seat in the April 24 primary has big plans if they make it to November's election.

This district covers all of Cumberland County; and in York County -- Carroll, Fairview, Franklin, Monaghan, Warrington and Washington townships; and Dillsburg, Franklintown and Wellsville boroughs.


Attorney Andrew Shaw, 36, of North Middleton believes his experience as a small business owner has helped him prepare for his campaign. Shaw assists many of his clients with real estate transactions, estate planning and starting small businesses.

"I'm meeting with clients that have every day needs and we have to look at the current

laws, and state laws included, in navigating them through the issues they need to deal with," Shaw said.

Owning his own law firm, Shaw said he also understands the struggles, needs and excitements of small business owners.

After having served seven years as a state senator, Pat Vance, 74, of Camp Hill, says she always has goals, and her experience in government will help her see those new goals be completed.

"Very few things are perfect with government, but I want people to know I'm not taking anything lightly," Vance said.

Making changes

Shaw said he stands for limited government and lowering taxes. He's strongly pro-life and believes parents should have more say in the education of their children.

He also hopes to see Pennsylvania get its fiscal affairs in order.

"I think one important means to do that is through the 'taxpayer bill of rights,' which other states have done, and Pennsylvania is behind the curve," Shaw said.

He would like to see a cap on spending relative to inflation and population growth, which he believes, would put some control of the size of the government.

While Vance agrees several groups have taken big budget cuts recently, she doesn't want to give people hope that there's extra money around.

She's concerned about state schools, nursing homes and hospitals -- each forced to take state-funded budget cuts.

"Everybody has to take a cut in a year like this, and one group should not have a larger burden than the other," she said.

Vance also hopes to look at putting an electronic code on welfare cards by working with the state budget and finance committee. It would cost money up front, Vance said, but would save money down the road.

"There are some very needy people that need welfare," Vance said. "But I'd like to be able to get rid of the abuse that goes on within that system."

@ralefever; 771-2088

The candidates

Andrew Shaw

Age: 36

Residence: North Middleton

Job: Attorney

Political experience: Two years on Cumberland County Republican Committee

Pat Vance

Age: 74

Residence: Camp Hill

Job/Political experience: Incumbent senator


For everything you need to know about the April 24 primary, visit

There you can also fill out a form telling us what three issues you think are the most important to the primary.

And keep the conversation going on Twitter using the hashtag #yorkvote.


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