state Senator Dan Laughlin announced recently that he is exploring a run for governor.
The Erie Repubilican was re-elected last year with nearly 60% of the vote in a predominantly Democratic district.
Laughlin was first elected after defeating one term Democrat Sean Wiley, and then fended off a challenge for re-election in what became the state’s single most expensive legislative race for 2020.
The Dan Laughlin for Pennsylvania campaign said that he won re-election in the face of a concerted effort by the Wolf Administration to oust him.
In a statement, the senator said that “if Republicans are to restore common sense to the governors office, they need a candidate capable of reaching across party lines, focused on practical solutions and fiscal sanity.”
During his first term of office, Laughlin secured additional yearly funding that prevented the closure of Erie City’s high schools. He became an advocate for outdoors enthusiasts by passing legislation to phase out prohibitions against Sunday hunting.
Laughlin has also advocated for a higher minimum wage pegged to inflation, an end to criminal prohibitions against marijuana, and economic development programs targeted at economically distressed communities. He has been prominent in the call to reopen the state’s economy and end the current administration’s secretive practice of government by emergency decree.
“Leaders like Bill Scranton and Dick Thornburgh showed us that Pennsylvanians are less concerned about strident ideology than about policies that work for people,” Laughlin said. “My conservatism guides me, but I’m less interested in fighting culture wars than I am fixing the roads and building an economy for our children.”