State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler pitched his candidacy to voters in North Huntingdon on Tuesday.
The event at Dal Forno, an Italian restaurant, attracted a few dozen voters from the area and was one of several he’s attended in Westmoreland over the last week. The Republican is running for U.S. Congress in the new 14th district, which includes Washington, Greene, and Fayette counties, as well as most of Westmoreland County.
Reschenthaler, of Jefferson Hills, is running against Democrat Bibiana Boerio. The new 14th district is considered to be one of the most conservative in the state. But Reschenthaler says he doesn’t want to take anything for granted, as he says his opponent Rick Saccone did in the Republican primary this spring. Late last year, Saccone beat out Reschenthaler to be the GOP nominee for a Congressional special election won by Democrat Conor Lamb this past March.
“I think a lot of what happened was, [Saccone] just not taking me seriously,” said Reschenthaler. “So I never want to be caught in that situation so I always act as if I’m 10 points down [in the polls]."
Reschenthaler said a really big issue for voters he’s talked to is the economy.
“People are happy,” he said. “I think a lot of people in the district have jobs are happy with where the economy is, but the older voters want to make sure their grandkids have jobs and that they stay in western Pennsylvania.”
Reschenthaler also noted that voters are also looking for solutions to the opioid crisis. At the event, he talked about bipartisan legislation he proposed that would provide depression screenings for middle and high school students that he believes could help curb opioid use later in life.
Reschenthaler will return to Harrisburg next week when the Senate begins the fall session.