Can­di­dates seek state House seats

In­cum­bent Kampf faces van Mol in 157th

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Eric Devlin ede­vlin@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Eric_Devlin on Twit­ter

A three-term state rep­re­sen­ta­tive will square off against a po­lit­i­cal new­comer look­ing to make changes in Har­ris­burg this Novem­ber.

In­cum­bent Repub­li­can Rep. War­ren Kampf is in his fourth race fac­ing Demo­cratic chal­lenger Hans van Mol for the 157th House Dis­trict seat.

Other than a two-year stint by Demo­crat Paul Drucker stretch­ing from 2009 and 2010, the 157th has been a Repub­li­can dis­trict from its es­tab­lish­ment in 1969. Kampf, 49, a for­mer prose­cu­tor in Philadel­phia and York coun­ties, took the seat away from Drucker in 2010 and has held it since.

He cur­rently serves on the ap­pro­pri­a­tions, liquor con­trol, con­sumer af­fairs, and in­sur­ance com­mit­tees and was named co-chair­man of the House Life Sci­ence Cau­cus. While the Tredyf­frin res­i­dent works full time in Har­ris­burg, he’s also an at­tor­ney with the law firm White and Wil­liams.

Mean­while, as the youngest can­di­date seek­ing of­fice in the re­gion, van Mol, 27, also from Tredyf­frin, hopes to bring a youth­ful, mil­len­nial spirit to Har­ris­burg. He cur­rently teaches mu­sic part time and is an in­ven­tory man­ager for J.W. Pep­per, the world’s largest mu­sic dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany.

The 157th Dis­trict in­cludes Tredyf­frin and Schuylkill, sec­tions of Up­per Prov­i­dence and most of Phoenixville.

The two can­di­dates both agreed more could be done to bet­ter fund ed­u­ca­tion but had dif­fer­ing opin­ions about what other is­sues would be their pri­or­i­ties.

Kampf fo­cused on im­prov­ing the job sec­tor, mak­ing ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing fairer and state gov­ern­ment more ef­fi­cient.

“Fun­da­men­tally I’m run­ning be­cause I like serv­ing our com­mu­nity in Har­ris­burg and in the dis­trict,” Kampf said. “I’m a big sup­porter of the job sec­tor in our re­gion and the state. There’s more work to be done to sup­port our job sec­tor and the way to the fu­ture is through job growth and en­trepreneur­ship.”

He’d also con­tinue to work on the state’s fis­cal sit­u­a­tion. Dur­ing his time in of­fice, Kampf said he was proud of the work done to avoid in­creas­ing sales and in­come taxes.

“I also think the sup­port I gave to the bi­par­ti­san bud­get which added $1.5 bil­lion to the state bud­get was good for schools, the De­part­ment of Human Ser­vices and for tax­pay­ers. Those is­sues will con­tinue. We con­tinue to face fis­cal chal­lenges. I sup­port any­thing to help the job sec­tor.”

For van Mol, it was wit­ness­ing the chal­lenges lo­cal schools faced be­cause of the 10-month­long 201516 state bud­get im­passe that con­vinced him to run for of­fice. De­spite the 201617 bud­get ap­proval com­ing much faster than its pre­de­ces­sor, the par­ti­san grid­lock was ev­i­dence enough he needed to step up.

“How much dys­func­tion is there? What’s go­ing to hap­pen next year?” he said. “It’s time we cut through the mat­ter, end the dys­func­tion and get back to work­ing to­gether.”

As a young can­di­date, he said he will pro­vide a fresh per­spec­tive on the is­sues of the day.

“I’m a per­son who knows how to work to­gether,” he said. “I don’t fo­cus on our dif­fer­ences, I fo­cus on com­mon­al­ity. It comes from a mil­len­nial back­ground. If I go to the ta­ble with 10 ideas and come out with five, that’s progress.”

Van Mol said in ad­di­tion to full and fair fund­ing for schools, he’d also sup­port new, clean re­new­able en­er­gies, the preser­va­tion of open spa­ces and wa­ter­ways, equal rights poli­cies for work­ers and mak­ing vot­ing regis­tra­tion eas­ier.

“I’d like to see au­to­matic regis­tra­tion,” he said. “Make it opt out in­stead of opt in like we cur­rently have it. It should be open to all.”

War­ren Kampf

Hans van Mol

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