Rep. Ward launches run for state Senate seat

WILLIAMSBURG — Blue stickers reading “Ward” were stuck to the chests of dozens gathered Saturday afternoon at the Williamsburg Community Center.

There, they showed support for state Rep. Judy Ward, R-Hollidaysburg, who formally announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination in this year’s race for the Penn­sylvania Senate’s 30th District seat.

“I work hard, and I fight for my district and my constituents,” she said, addressing the crowd. “This is something I will continue to do as a state senator.”

Ward’s words came after an introduction from her colleagues — state Reps. John McGinnis, R-Altoona, and Rich Irvin, R-Huntingdon.

“It’s very much a pleasure to be standing here today,” Irvin said, applauding Ward for her steadfast convictions and her passion for public service.

“We deal a lot with lobbyists in Harrisburg,” Irvin said. “We deal with the groups that try to sway your vote one way or the other. I can honestly say that Judy did not sway.”

Ward is seeking a state Senate seat currently held by state Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr., R-Blair.

Eichelberger recently announced that he hopes to win a U.S. representative seat, which is now occupied by outgoing U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District.

On Saturday, McGinnis called Eichelberger “the greatest senator in the history of Pennsylvania” before saying he is confident that Ward can take his place.

“Judy has the energy; Judy has the brains; but most importantly, she has the values of life and liberty that are our values,” McGinnis said. “She’s going to make a heck of a state senator.”

When it came time for Ward to speak, she told a story about her first run at politics and her first act after being elected.

The story centered on her persistent calls to a government worker that ensured grant money would make its way to Williamsburg.

Ward said if she is elected to the state Senate, that persistence will remain.

“The job is too important to get someone up to speed,” she said, dismissing any political newcomers. “I feel (I’m) the only candidate to jump into those shoes, although they may be big.”

Ward touted her anti-abortion beliefs, her pro-guns stance and her support of agriculture and small businesses.

“My record is a conservative one,” she said. “I have a voting record to back me up.”

That record has garnered positive ratings form the National Rifle Association, as well as the Pennsylvania Chamber and the state Farm Bureau, she said.

Ward also made sure to note her support of the military and local police, firefighters and other emergency responders.

“I believe we should have smaller government, and it should stay out of your business,” she said.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.