Republican candidates for state Senate seat debate

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Four Republicans who want to replace retiring state Senator Pat Vance have different methods on how they would act if elected to the seat.

Rep. Mike Regan, Brice Arndt, Jon Ritchie, and Scott Harper debated Sunday at Eagle View Middle School.

The candidates agree on most issues like pension reform, education, and health care, but disagreed on how to create more jobs.

“We need to create an environment in Pennsylvania which is business-friendly, where we can bring in companies who can employ people, so we get more people working, more people paying taxes,” Regan said.

“That property tax that you would support would raise that personal income tax, and that works in direct opposition to making this a business-friendly environment,” Richie countered.

Arndt and Harper sparred on liquor privatization.

“With the numbers that I was able to involve, actually brought in without even counting the sale of the franchises, we would save $17 million every single year,” Arndt said.

“Who pays the bill for that?” Harper replied. “We all do. They’re just artificially inflated government programs that should be eliminated.”

Regan is a former U.S. marshal who lives in York County. Ritchie is a former NFL running back and broadcaster. Harper is an attorney from York County and Arndt is a longtime Cumberland County dentist. They are running for the 31st State Senatorial District in Cumberland and York counties in the April 26 primary election.

There is no announced Democrat, so the winner of the GOP primary is likely to become the new senator.

ABC27’s Dennis Owens moderated the debate.

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