State Sen. Lloyd Smucker meets with local residents
By Steven Hoffman
The Oxford Good Government Committee welcomed State Senator Lloyd Smucker to a meet-and-greet event at Wilson Vineyard in Nottingham on Sept. 15.
Smucker, a Republican, is vying with Democrat Christina Hartman for the 16th Congressional District seat that has been held by retiring U.S. Rep. Joseph Pitts for two decades. With the Nov. 8 election quickly approaching, the state lawmaker said that he was pleased to meet with residents in southern Chester County.
“I’ve met so many wonderful new friends, so many amazing people. It’s been a great experience,” Smucker said.
Paul Andriole, one of the organizers of the event, said that local residents were, in turn, pleased to be able to get to know the lawmaker from Lancaster County better since he may soon be representing them in the U.S. Congress.
“We’re pretty excited about Mr. Smucker,” Andriole said. “He has been very attentive. From day one, he has called into the community: 'Who can I meet? What are the community's needs? What can I do to help?' Sen. Smucker has been just incredible.”
Andriole noted that with Lancaster County accounting for 82 percent of the 16th Congressional District, there is a worry that the needs of Chester County citizens might be overlooked. The portion of Chester County that is in that district only accounts for about 12 percent of the entire district. The district also includes a swath of Berks County, which amounts to about 6 percent of the entire district.
Smucker assured everyone in attendance that he views the 16th Congressional District as one district, and does not look at it in terms of where the county boundaries are.
“The things that are important to people in Lancaster County are the same things that are important to people here,” he said.
Smucker, 52, has been representing the 13th District in the State Senate since 2009. That district is comprised largely of municipalities in central and southern Lancaster County. He holds the top post of the Senate Education Committee, and also serves on the influential Senate Appropriations Committee and the Labor & Industry Committee.
During the meet-and-greet, Smucker offered attendees some details about his life growing up in Lancaster County. He explained that he was born into an Amish family. They left the Amish community while Smucker was still a boy. When he was still a teenager, he took a job to help pay to attend Lancaster Mennonite High School. He graduated from the school in 1981. He worked his way through college and later became the president of the Smucker Company, a family-owned commercial construction firm in Smoketown, Pa.
Smucker said that his business experience made him keenly aware of the impact that government regulations can have on businesses, especially small businesses.
“As we grew, we had to hire more people and spend more time just handling the regulations,” he explained.
Smucker was a member of the West Lampeter Township Planning Commission for four years and then served two terms as a township supervisor before entering politics at the state level.
Smucker earned the Republican nomination with a victory over Chet Beiler in the Primary Election. Hartman was unopposed in her bid for the Democratic nomination. Smucker said that the Primary Election was a costly endeavor with a challenger, and the general election was shaping to go the same way.
Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell, State Rep. John Lawrence, and several other elected officials were in attendance. Andriole explained that the meet-and-greet was not a Republican Party event, but rather a community event where local business leaders and residents had the opportunity to meet with one of the candidates for U.S. Congress.
Smucker said that when he has been out meeting with 16th Congressional District residents they are concerned about economic growth, national security issues, and the national debt.