Perry For Congress-Legislative, Military Experience Is A Plus

Harrisburg Patriot-News

There’s a reason Scott Perry won a seven-person primary to be the Republican nominee for the 4th Congressional District: He is an experienced leader. His background in the military, private sector and as a state representative make him well suited to represent south-central Pennsylvania at the federal level.

He earns The Patriot-News endorsement. Perry is running for the congressional seat that was left vacant by retiring congressman Todd Platts. After redistricting, the district now includes all of York and Adams counties and just a tiny portion of eastern Cumberland County and the city of Harrisburg in Dauphin County.

It’s a complex district that in many ways mirrors Pennsylvania itself with urban areas such as York and Harrisburg, suburban communities outside those cities and rural farms. Perry has the right background to be an effective representative of this oddly shaped district.

He is a veteran of the Iraq War and remains in the Pennsylvania National Guard, having recently been promoted to command of the entire Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Facility.

In 2006, he was elected state representative from the Dillsburg area. In the state Legislature, he is best known for championing the Castle Doctrine, a bill that expands people’s right to use “deadly force” when attacked.

This newspaper opposed that bill, but we recognize that Perry has been a hard worker and has not shied away from tackling big issues such as unemployment compensation reform and balancing the budget. Perry did not sign the “no tax increase” pledge and says he is “potentially” willing to consider a tax or other revenue increases if necessary for a compromise on the federal budget.

It’s a common-sense approach that suits central Pennsylvania. He also is open to reforming entitlement programs, although he is quick to reiterate that those in retirement or close to it should not have their benefits changed.

Our one hesitation is on health care. Perry wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and in The Patriot-News interview he even expressed apprehension about keeping in place popular provisions such as ending pre-existing conditions.

If elected, it’s a topic he will need to listen to constituents on and likely evolve his views. Perry’s Democratic opponent in this race is Harry Perkinson, an engineer from Dallastown, York County, who has worked in the private sector for many years and ran his own small business.

Perkinson is well-versed on federal issues and comes across as one of the stronger challengers this year. As he told The Patriot-News, “I am a moderate. I don’t want government intruding in my life, but by the same token, I don’t want it completely absent.”

Perkinson also served after college in the Peace Corps, giving him firsthand experience of the world.

But this is his first foray into elected office, and it is a big leap. Voters in the 4th Congressional District are fortunate to have two knowledgeable candidates who have spent most of their adult lives in the area. Perry stands out to us because of his military and state legislative record.

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