Army vet joins 11th District race


A Har­ris­burg area Army vet­eran and dry­wall in­stal­la­tion com­pany ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cially jumped into the race Thurs­day for U.S. Rep. Lou Bar­letta’s seat, promis­ing “a fresh per­spec­tive” if elected to Con­gress.

An­drew Lewis, 30, of Lower Pax­ton Twp. in Dauphin County, who shares a birth­day with Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan, called him­self a con­ser­va­tive busi­ness­man whose mil­i­tary and busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence will serve him well in Wash­ing­ton.

“I’m some­one who’s an out­sider who, I be­lieve, can bring the so­lu­tions and the courage to act on the big is­sues,” Lewis said.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­mains will­ing to re­form the na­tion’s tax sys­tem and re­peal Oba­macare, but Con­gress has not acted, Lewis said.

“We have ca­reer politi­cians who care more about re-elec­tion than they do about mean­ing­ful re­forms that are go­ing to be good for the coun­try,” he said.

Bar­letta plans to run for the U.S. Sen­ate next year in­stead of a fifth term rep­re­sent­ing the 11th Con­gres­sional District. The district in­cludes all of Luzerne County out­side the WilkesBarre Area, Pittston Area and Wy­oming Area school dis­tricts; all of Wy­oming, Columbia and Mon­tour coun­ties; and parts of Car­bon, Cum­ber­land, Dauphin, Northum­ber­land and Perry coun­ties.

Lewis joined the Army af­ter grad­u­at­ing high school and served for 9½ years, in­clud­ing tours in com­bat in Iraq. A staff sergeant when he left the Army, he re­mains a mem­ber of the Na­tional Guard. He is chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer and se­nior project man­ager for the Trades­man Build­ing Group.

“Fail­ure is not an op­tion in the Army,” Lewis said. “I like to say in Fal­lu­jah, (Iraq) we didn’t have Repub­li­cans or Democrats, we had a mis­sion and a team and our team had to ac­com­plish the mis­sion and it’s the same thing in busi­ness.”

Lewis ran for the 15th Sen­ate District seat last year and nar­rowly lost the Re­pub­li­can pri­mary to John DiSanto, who went on to de­feat first-term in­cum­bent Demo­crat Rob Teplitz last Novem­ber.

Lewis said he fa­vors re­peal­ing Oba­macare and pass­ing a re­place­ment within two years, re­form­ing the tax sys­tem the way the pres­i­dent wants to do it and strength­en­ing laws against il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion. Con­tact the writer: bkrawcze­niuk@timessham­rock. com; 570-348-9147; @Bo­rys­BlogTT on Twit­ter

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