Written by: Rylie C. Cooper
Edited by: Josh Broder
Lancaster, Pennsylvania is known for its rolling fields and farmers markets. It’s also known for being just another one of the Republican controlled rural areas of Pennsylvania. Lancaster happens to be a part of the extremely gerrymandered PA-16 Congressional district; a district that notoriously went for Trump in the 2016 presidential election 51.03% - 44.22%. This Congressional district has been under Republican congressional control since 1945.
In 2016, current Republican Representative Lloyd Smucker faced off against rising Democratic star Christina M. Hartman. As one of the most watched congressional races in 2016, Hartman almost flipped PA-16 blue with 43% of the vote to Smucker’s 54%.
This notably R+5 district is going to be up for grabs again in the upcoming 2018 midterm election cycle. Among those who have announced that they are vying for the Democratic nomination are Charles Klein, pharmacist and former democratic candidate for a PA house seat, John George, a Warwick Superintendent, Jess King, who runs Lancaster area nonprofit Assets, and Christina Hartman, the 2016 Democratic nominee who almost defeated Smucker.
With U.S. politics leaving many disillusioned, PA-16 is primed for a change. Who is going to bring that change and defeat Lloyd Smucker in November 2018?
Democrat Christina M. Hartman.
Lancaster native, she has already pulled key Democratic endorsements, including current Lancaster city Mayor Rick Gray, multiple Lancaster city council members, state Rep. Mike Sturla, and county Commissioner Craig Lehman, along with many others. Although off to a great start, Hartman is going to have to watch out for fellow Democrat John George. With a lengthy resume including the Lancaster County Children & Adolescent Service Systems Policy Committee, Right to Education Task Force, and Association of Education Service Agencies, along with many other education policy related boards, George seems to have a recognizable reputation in PA-16.
While George has an impressive background in education, Hartman’s background in international affairs and community advocacy certainly is an important asset that voters will find reassuring. With the surge to the left in a majority of the 2017 special elections, it is clear Rep. Smucker is in for the fight of his political life. And Christina Hartman is ready to turn PA-16 blue.