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Gary Haluska

State Rep. Gary Haluska, D-Patton, announced Wednesday that he is seeking an eighth term representing the 73rd district.

If re-elected, he will be one of the only local state representatives in the region with experience in Harrisburg.

Three local House legislators said recently that they are not seeking re-election: State Reps. Bob Bastian, R-Somerset; Ed Wojnaroski, D-Johnstown; and Tom Yewcic, D-Jackson Township.

“It’s unusual to have three go at the same time,” Haluska said after announcing he would like to retain his seat. “I knew (Wojnaroski and Bastian) wanted to retire, but I wasn’t expecting Tom (Yewcic) to go.

“That leaves a big void for anyone with experience in the Cambria-Somerset area,” he said.

As of Wednesday, Haluska remained unopposed for the Democratic nomination, and no Republican candidates have surfaced.

Haluska said that, if he is re-elected, he will work with the new legislators to move forward with the region’s interest at heart.

“Everyone has their wants and needs, and it’s a matter of how you cut the pie,” Haluska said. “It will be an interesting budget season with a bit of a recession staring us in the face.”

He said he will continue to focus on property-tax reform.

“We’ve just begun to get the attention of enough Dems and GOPs to focus on school property-tax issues ... to get the pressure off of property owners,” Haluska said. “If we push it in the House, we’ll put it on the Senate’s doorstep. And (senators will) have to deal with it in one way or another.”

He also is looking to continue to find ways to fund infrastructure projects in his district.

“We’re hoping the Reade-White project to expand public water into White Township, and create public sewage for both Reade and White townships, will happen,” Haluska said.

That project would extend to the community of Glendale Year Round.

He also is supporting the expansion of the West Branch Sewer Authority into neighboring Barr and West Carroll townships.

Haluska said he continues to envision recreation and tourism as an economic boost for the area.

He has taken pride in bringing more than $3 million for the Rock Run Recreation Area in St. Lawrence.

Rock Run has been Haluska’s pet project for years, and last year’s spring opening brought thousands of off-road enthusiasts into the park and surrounding towns.

“Projects drive me (to seek re-election),” Haluska said.

Haluska represents northern and eastern Cambria County residents in the school districts of Cambria Heights, Forest Hills, Northern Cambria, Penn Cambria, Portage and Glendale.

A graduate of Cambria Heights High School and Williamsport Area Community College, Haluska is married to the former Amy Wirfel of New Germany, and has a son, Daryl. He is a lifelong resident of Patton.

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