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Schmitt seeking 79th District seat

Altoona native Lou Schmitt announced Thurs­day that he will run for state representative of the 79th District, using “We the People” as his campaign rally cry and highlighting his experience as a lawyer.

“I’ve been a legal advocate for over 30 years, representing other people, fighting for other people, being a champion for other people and what I’m going to do is basically the same thing in the state Legislature for the 79th District,” Schmitt said.

“I’m going to be a legislative advocate for them,” he added. “I’m going to go in and use my legal knowledge and background to help draft legislation, to help the people of the 79th District and to help support hopefully a Republican governor to pass public policies that help encourage prosperity and economic development.”

At Schmitt’s candidacy announcement at the Railroaders Memorial Museum, a handful of current and former politicians spoke on behalf of the Republican candidate.

Matt Pacifico, mayor of Altoona and Schmitt’s second cousin, said: “He’s a man of his word. If he tells you something, you can take it to the bank. He has loyalty. He has integrity. … He also has an abiding love for the city of Altoona. Lou is Altoona through and through.”

Sam Hayes, a former member of the state House of Representatives, said: “There is no question at all. There is not an adversary in Blair County who can say Lou Schmitt is not the best prepared. No one can question … his presence will be known in Harrisburg. But what they are also going to find is that he has a stout heart. He has great political courage, political wisdom and political leadership.”

If elected into office, Schmitt said he would work to draft legislation to end state pensions for convicted felons, stabilize state budgets, halt unnecessary government mandates, target taxpayer dollars toward education, make necessary amendments to state drug laws to assist with the opioid epidemic and conduct a complete review of sexual harassment payouts.

Schmitt is an attorney at McIntyre, Hartye, Schmitt and Sosnowski Law Offices. He is a graduate of Altoona Area High School and Saint Francis University. Schmitt, who is nearly 7 feet tall, was a former basketball player for both schools and grew up in Dutch Hill.

Mirror Staff Writer Shen Wu Tan is at 946-7457.

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