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