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An initiative to provide nonpartisan, independent elections journalism for southwestern Pennsylvania.

Voter guide to Pennsylvania State House 55th District Republican primary: Cooper vs. Lingg

What’s at stake: Pennsylvania’s 55th state House District seat has been held by Republicans for two consecutive terms following decades of representation by a single Democratic family (Joseph Petrarca Sr. and his son Joseph Jr.). During the last primary, state Rep. Jill Cooper ousted the freshman incumbent who first flipped the district to the GOP and then held off Democrat Scott Gaus in November 2022. This time around, Cooper faces Murrysville Council member Jamie Lingg in the GOP primary; no Democrats are running.

The rural northern Westmoreland County district is part of the Marcellus Shale.

District map:

Jill Cooper

State Rep. Jill Cooper is seeking her second term representing Westmoreland County in Harrisburg. She sits on the Education, Labor & Industry, Housing & Community Development and Aging & Older Adult Services committees in the state House of Representatives.

Cooper ran for elected office for the first time after more than a decade of involvement in Republican politics, including chairing the Westmoreland County Republican Committee. She previously worked as a sales and marketing executive for aluminum company Alcoa.

Party: Republican
Place of residence: Murrysville
Education: B.S., Grove City College
Current occupation: Pennsylvania State House, 55th District (2023 – present)
Experience: Executive director, Murrysville Economic and Community Development Corp. (2017 – 2019); Chair, Westmoreland County Republican Committee (2012 – 2014)
Links: Website | Facebook
Total fundraising (as of 4/8/24):
Total raised (2024): $33,597.15
(2023 ending cash balance: $33,697)
Total spent (2024): $34,223.43

WESA Candidate Survey
Cooper did not respond to the WESA Candidate Survey.

Jamie Lingg

Jamie Lingg is challenging state Rep. Jill Cooper for the Republican nomination to represent the 55th District. Lingg, who runs a custom T-shirt business catering to local businesses and sports teams, also is in her first term on Murrysville Council. During her tenure, council has tabled an amphitheater project, inked gas and oil rights leases that extend beneath nearly 400 acres of parkland and started developing rules for short-term residential rentals.

Party: Republican
Place of residence: Murrysville
Education: B.S., Purdue University
Current occupation: Small business owner (Three Little Fishies)
Experience: Murrysville Council member (2022 - present)
Links: Website
Total fundraising (as of 4/8/24):
Total raised (2024): $6,010
Total spent (2024): $0

WESA Candidate Survey
Lingg did not respond to the WESA Candidate Survey.

Emily Previti is a podcast producer and data journalist, and executive editor and co-creator of Obscured from Kouvenda Media.