Lehigh County Republican Ryan Mackenzie will take on Democrat Patrick Slattery for the vacant seat in the 134th District of the state House of Representatives.
Local Republicans chose Mackenzie as the party’s candidate during a meeting Thursday night with members of the Republican committees in Berks and Lehigh counties.
The meeting was held in the Lower Macungie Township municipal building in Lehigh County.
“I am confident that Ryan Mackenzie will be an excellent candidate and will fight hard for the best interests of the people of the 134th state Legislative District,” said Rob Gleason, chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. “We will be counting on the state Legislature to join Gov. (Tom) Corbett’s fight to hold the line on taxes and make many of the critical decisions facing our commonwealth.”
The seat was left vacant after Douglas G. Reichley, an Emmaus Republican, resigned following his election in November as a Lehigh County judge. The special election will be held April 24 along with the state’s primary election.
The 134th District includes parts of Lehigh County, as well as Hereford, District and Washington townships and Bechtelsville and Bally boroughs in Berks.
Mackenzie, 29, who lives in South Whitehall Township, graduated from Parkland High School and New York University, where he received a dual degree in finance and international business.
Mackenzie went on to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School. He began his political career in 2004 when he worked on Pat Toomey’s U.S. Senate campaign. He then directed statewide Republican efforts in 2010.
Mackenzie accepted a position with the U.S. Department of Labor in 2007 and most recently served as the director of policy at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.