With area Republicans tripping over each other to run for the seat, the one-term Democratic incumbent holding the 146th District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives made it official Monday — he’s running for re-election.
In a release issued Monday, Mark Painter said he made the announcement to a group of about 60 friends at the Trappe Tavern.
“We’ve made it a priority to communicate with residents of the district, and, more importantly, to listen to their needs and concerns,” Painter said in the release. “We’ve been willing to work alongside members of both political parties to properly fund our schools, provide property tax relief, and bring jobs and economic growth to Pennsylvania. That’s really the key to solving the problems that face our communities.”
“The people in our communities have too often been ignored by Harrisburg,” Painter said. “I want to continue to be their voice, and I look forward to fighting for the things that matter to them.”
But to do that, Painter will have to win re-election and it is not yet clear which opponent he will face in November.
In January, the first Republican to throw his hat into the ring was the former representative, Tom Quigley, who Painter narrowly beat in 2012.
Quigley argued in his announcement that the new configuration of the 146th District would make it more difficult for a Democrat to win.
A few days later, Limerick Supervisor Thomas Neafcy Jr. announced that he too would seek the Republican nomination to run in the 146th.
Neafcy argued that Quigley had his chance and that Neafcy represents “a new direction in Harrisburg.”
A few days after Neafcy’s announcement, Pottsgrove School Board President Justin Valentine made it a three-way primary race when he issued his own announcement that he too would seek the GOP nomination.
Valentine argued that his time on the school board gives him the best perspective on the perennial problem of property tax reform and education funding.
In his announcement, Painter, a former Limerick tax collector, pointed to his accomplishments after just one term.
According to his announcement, Painter sponsored legislation to accommodate student veterans returning to college after military service, to protect pregnant workers from job discrimination, and to abolish the state’s clunky and antiquated per capita tax.
Painter is a native of the Pottstown area. He and his wife, Coleen, have four children, two of whom have autism, and currently live in Limerick Township. He serves on the Agriculture, Human Services and Local Government committees. He is a 1979 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
The newly configured 146th District, which includes parts of Pottstown, the boroughs of Royersford and Trappe, and the townships of Limerick, Lower Pottsgrove, and Perkiomen.
State representatives serve two-year terms. The base salary is $84,012.