Republican Attorney Jason Richey, who has announced his 2022 run for Pennsylvania Governor last month, spoke to the Elk County Republican Party in his second visit to the region since announcing his candidacy in Mid May.

"I want to unleash the power of Pennsylvania," said Republican Attorney Jason Richey on Tuesday evening to a huge gathering of Elk County Republicans at the Big Trout Inn near Weedville. “Growing up in Aliquippa, I witnessed firsthand the impact that economic downturn and lack of opportunity can have on our residents. The consequences of punitive taxation have inhibited growth and destroyed some of Pennsylvania’s hardest-working communities.” Richey said after a day spent visiting factories in the region. “For 40 years, too many communities have faced similar struggles as we’ve watched the state’s mismanagement lead to nothing but the growth of more government and the continuous decline of our state’s economy. We need a change now.” "We need to unleash the workers of Pennsylvania so that we can solve the problems of our Commonwealth."

This is Richey's second visit to the county, and he spent much of the day in St. Marys, as he did on his first visit. During this trip, Richey visited local manufacturing plants like Sinterfire as well as the Straub Brewery and the St. Marys Pharmacy. "My dad grew up working on a farm, and my mom was the daughter of a housekeeper and a gas station attendant." said Richey, "after marrying, my parents moved to Beaver County, where I grew up. My dad, Roy, became an airplane mechanic, and my mom, Donna, was a teacher at Aliquippa High School, where she became one of the all-time great girls’ basketball coaches in Pennsylvania history." "Sports runs in our blood, and Elk County reminds me a lot of my hometown and the people whose values I hope to take to Harrisburgh."

Richey went step by step through his 12-point plan for Pennsylvania, laid out on his website jasonrichey2022.com. Richey's "Contract with Pennsylvania" is a comprehensive plan for the future of the Commonwealth. Aimed to reduce the size and scope of state government, the plan focuses on lowering taxes, driving business investment, and continuing development in the energy, manufacturing, and construction sectors. As governor, Richey said he would eliminate wasteful and redundant spending while increasing investments for innovative and proven education and healthcare programs. Richey also champions a 0% state income tax on both personal and business income. He detailed how his plan has worked in other states such as Texas, Florida, and Washington. This plan would cut the cost and size of the state's legislative and executive branches and eliminate, in his estimation, unnecessary bureaucracies, such as the Liquor Control Board and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Finally, Richey says he is dedicated to restoring integrity and trust in PA elections and government institutions.

A graduate of Hopewell Area High School, Richey attended Allegheny College in Crawford County, where he became a three-time NCAA Academic All-American member of the Allegheny wrestling team. He was the third wrestler in program history to record at least 100 wins. Richey graduated magna cum laude and received the honor of being inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa society. After college, he worked in an Aliquippa steel mill to help pay his way through law school at Ohio State University. Upon graduating from law school, Richey joined K&L Gates in Pittsburgh, one of the largest law firms in 1996, and quickly rose through the ranks to become a partner in 2005. Richey specialized in construction and engineering industry litigation, commercial and energy disputes, and state and local governmental issues. The Pittsburgh-founded law firm has more than 1,600 lawyers. Richey led the legal battles to uncover government corruption in more than 40 states and continually defended the energy, manufacturing, and construction industries. Richey and his wife Melissa live in Sewickley with their three teenage sons, Justin, Logan, and Marcus, who attend Quaker Valley High School, and, like their father, are all championship wrestlers.

In an exclusive interview with the Ridgway Record/Daily Press/Kane, Republican Richey sat down to answer many questions about issues facing the region. This was after his speech to gathered members of the Elk County Republican Party and an open question and answer period where Richey took numerous questions from the audience, some of which opposed a few of his stated positions, but the experienced litigator never shied away from explaining his points and stood firm on his stances, such as against the legalization of recreational marijuana overall, but supports it for prescribed medical use.

This will be Richey’s first run for elected office in Pennsylvania. He believes his candidacy provides all Pennsylvanians the opportunity to “reject government as usual, and nominate an outsider for governor who can bring real solutions, and real changes that benefit every community in the Commonwealth and can deliver a victory in November.” Richey "Never considered a run for political office until I witnessed how the current administration ripped away the freedoms of my fellow Pennsylvanians, destroying their lives and businesses with crippling restrictions." It was actually a conversation with his son, who expressed his frustration when they were sharing the anger at the PA Department of Health that kept the kids out of school and Richey out of the Courtroom last year, prompted his run for governor after his son challenged him to do something about it. "That compelled me to help clean up the economic mess caused by Gov. Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, along with Dr. Rachel Levine." His preliminary campaign began to be formed that evening, and he formally announced in Mid-May of this year.

When asked how he can reach out to the larger, urban communities that generally vote solid Democrats, he pointed out his support for "School Choice," which is increasingly becoming popular among all constituencies, especially in the inner-cites and minority populations. "Our public education system should be the best in the world. One where all elementary students are proficient in reading and math, and all high school students have multiple career path options like the availability of college preparatory classes, training, and apprenticeship programs aligned with local employers and unions, and military schools." said Richey, "Our public school teachers, like our police officers, should also have a higher compensation to attract the best people to the profession. For parents and students to find the ideal school that meets their individual needs, I will advocate for the implementation of state Education Savings Accounts (ESA) and the expansion of successful programs like the EITC and OSTC programs."

While Richey is the first candidate from western PA to formally launch a bid for the office, and the first to visit Elk County, he’s not the lone candidate in the GOP race. Former Congressman Lou Barletta formally announced his entrance into the race in May as well, while Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale launched a campaign for Governor in February. In addition, Congressman Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne), state Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie), and Doug Mastriano (R-Adams), and former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, are also reportedly weighing a run for Governor.

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