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Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries joins race for Republican nomination in 15th Congressional district

HARRISBURG — Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries announced he is jumping into the race to be the Republican nominee in the open 15th Congressional district next year.

Pries joins state Representatives Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh) and Justin Simmons  (R-Lehigh) and Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein in the race.

Pries’ full statement announcing his candidacy appears below:

“America is at a crossroads. Partisan politics and uncivil discourse have gotten in the way of what is most important – the future of America’s families.

The next representative from Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District must have real experience and real accomplishments. Congress is no place to learn on the job. Politicians often talk about keeping taxes low, balancing budgets and strengthening the economy.

But how many of them have made good on their promises?

As Dauphin County Commissioner and a local government leader for the past 12 years, I have put the needs of hardworking families first and have never raised property taxes.

Knowing that agriculture and small business are the backbones of our regional economy, I have worked hard to create a business-friendly climate, keep taxes low and provide incentives for growth and opportunity.

I have received national and statewide recognition for my work to help strengthen our economy, including the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association’s President’s Award and the Achievement Award for Community/Economic Development given by the National Association of Counties.

This is the direct result of working together with my colleagues and putting people over politics to get the job done. People are tired of the worn-out promises from elected officials. They want action.

Our elected leaders must be experienced. As a leader, you do not know how you will react until you are tested.

When our county faced one of the worst natural disasters in decades, I led the way by overseeing our emergency management agency and coordinating countywide flood relief efforts with our emergency responders.

As a devoted husband and father, I know that families have made America great.

There is nothing more important than being a good parent and teaching our children to be productive, responsible and law-abiding citizens. We are the ones who instill values in our kids.

They are our country’s future. To this end, the government should support families, not make it harder for them.

As your congressman, I will go to work every day with one mission: putting families first. We must fix healthcare by increasing competition so that we can choose policies that fit our needs without unfairly burdening families. We need a federal tax system that is simple and prioritizes middle-class families by lowering their taxes and increasing the deductions that help them most.

And it is essential to keep our families safe by combating terror at home and abroad, supporting law enforcement, funding first responders, and reinforcing our military so it can be at the highest level of readiness.

Veterans and our first responders are true heroes, keeping us safe and free. As a father of a Marine currently stationed in Allentown and as county commissioner, I have made veterans affairs a priority. As a county leader, I have expanded services and outreach to veterans and their families.

We need to put our wounded veterans on a pedestal. If the Veterans Administration cannot help them promptly, then they should be able to receive the treatment they need from any hospital in America.

We need to go even further to help those who wear our country’s uniform, especially the fallen. The children of any service person, law enforcement officer or emergency responder, who is killed in the line of duty, should receive a free college education with the support of federal and state governments. It is the least we can do.

We must also be unapologetic in sharing American values. I stand for our flag and the national anthem. I believe in our Constitution and will protect it. I’m pro-life, pro-family and stand firmly behind the values that founded our country. Most importantly, I’m a father who will go to work every day as your congressman to fight for your family and our children’s future.

I’m humbled by the opportunity to serve, and in the coming months, I hope to earn your support.”