GOP Chooses Candidate to Run for Reichley's Seat
Ryan Mackenzie, of South Whitehall, is the Republican nominee in the April 24 special election for the 134th state House seat.
A 29-year-old South Whitehall man was nominated Thursday night to be the GOP nominee in the special election to fill the 134th state House seat.
Ryan Mackenzie, 29, was chosen by 18 Republican conferees who gathered in Lower Macungie. The conferees had the opportunity to hear from Mackenzie and four other Republican hopefuls -- Arlene Dabrow, Rob Hamill, Wanda Mercado-Arroyo and Dennis Nemes, all of Lower Macungie.
The special election will be held April 24, the same day as the primary. Mackenzie will face Democrat Patrick Slattery of Lower Macungie, who was nominated on Tuesday to be his party's candidate in the special election.
Mackenzie and the other four hopefuls also are running for the Republican nomination in the primary, and Slattery is also running for the Democratic nod in the primary.
The 134th state House seat became vacant when Republican Doug Reichley was elected in November to become a Lehigh County judge. The winner of the special election will fill the remaining eight months of Reichley's term in the House -- until whoever wins the November general election for the seat is sworn into office.
In a prepared release, Mackenzie said, "I am honored to have been chosen as the Republican candidate for the 134th House District and look forward to a campaign focused on the issues that matter most to our community: creating jobs, controlling spending and ensuring a quality education.
"It is my hope that my opponents will do as they expressed they would and come together to avoid a divisive election that takes away from discussing those issues."
MacKenzie is former director of policy at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. He is on the board of directors for a senior living apartment complex in Allentown, and he is secretary for an education-focused philanthropic organization in Lehigh County.
A Parkland High School graduate, he received a dual degree in finance and international business from New York University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, according to a prepared release. He worked for South Whitehall's department of parks and recreation during summers while he was in high school and college.
The 134th District includes Lower Macungie, Emmaus, Macungie, Alburtis and parts of South Whitehall, Upper Milford, and Salisbury in Lehigh County and Hereford, Bally, District, Washington and Bechtelsville in Berks County.