NEWLIN >> Longtime legislative aide Christina Sappey announced Friday that she hopes to unseat Republican state Rep. Eric Roe and represent the 158th House District in Harrisburg.
Sappey, of West Bradford, will face off against former teacher and coach Rick Nelms in the May 15 Democratic primary.
Sappey and about three dozen supporters met on the stone bridge at ChesLen Preserve for the announcement.
Sappey was joined by recent employer, and current state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-156, and former state Rep. Barbara McIlvaine Smith, D-156, who will act as the campaign treasurer.
The 158th District covers East Bradford, Avondale, East Marlborough, London Britain, New Garden, Newlin, West Bradford, West Marlborough and sections of West Goshen.
“I know who to go to get something done and hit the ground running,” Sappey said.
Comitta said she hopes to sit next to Sappey on the house floor at the state Capitol.
“Chris has been involved with the state Legislature for over 12 years in both the House and Senate,” Comitta said. “She knows more than most people know about how to get things done in the Legislature.
“She knows all of the various local and Harrisburg stakeholders and she’s worked with them every day, day-in and day-out.
“She is completely prepared to serve as an excellent representative of the people.”
McIlvaine Smith said that Sappey is compassionate and knows how to “dream big” and was the “heart and soul” of the office.
Sappey defined herself as a “moderate.”
She said she will zero in on the state budget.
“The state does not have a viable, sustainable economy,” Comitta’s former chief of staff said. “We’re balancing the budget by borrowing money and that’s not fiscally responsible.”
The candidate said that state budgeting is jeopardizing innovative county programs and projects.
She said that providing a solid education is important and is the “only mandate we have.”
Her message on the environment was underscored by the park where Sappey chose to make the announcement. She talked about better managing the burgeoning natural gas industry in the state.
Roe referred to himself as an “open-minded common-sense Republican.”
Roe said he would make government live within its means. He supports historic education funding and balancing the state budget without raising taxes.
“I led the charge against partisan gerrymandering and reformed the state pension plan, which will protect families and seniors from rising property taxes. I led by example by declining the perks reserved for legislators including the pension plan and per diems.
Nelms recently referred to himself as a “fiscal conservative.”
He supports pension reform and believes there should be a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
“I can be a vote for the Dreamers,” Nelms said, referring to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Nelms is also opposed to state mandated standardized testing, which he said crushes creative souls.
“I am opposed to robotic learning, which is what those tests measure,” he said.