Son eyes House seat of retiring lawmaker father

LOCK HAVEN — The son of a longtime Democratic lawmaker has announced he is running for the seat held by his father.

Mike Hanna Jr. is seeking the 76th House seat being vacated by state Rep. Mike Hanna Sr, R-Lock Haven.

Hanna Sr., who has held the seat since 1991, announced he will not seek re-election to a 15th term.

“After considerable deliberation, I have decided that the time has come to spend more time with my family, travel with my wife and enjoy the great outdoors,” the lawmaker said. “This is what is best for my family at this time and it is my hope, upon retirement, to be able to explore other avenues for which I am passionate.”

Hanna Sr. was elected by his colleagues to serve four terms as Democratic whip. As whip, he assisted party leaders in coordinating the caucus in response to legislation.

During his time in office, Hanna authored policies such as the state’s Dog Law, food safety, retirement security efforts for people, legislation marking the Piper J3 Cub as Pennsylvania’s official aircraft, recycling incentives, raising the minimum wage, biosolid issues and deer management.

“My experience as a state representative has been nothing short of humbling,” he said. “It has been a great privilege and honor to serve all of my constituents in Harrisburg and a responsibility that I have never once taken lightly. I hope to be remembered as someone who stood up for my morals and beliefs even if it was a tough vote to make.”

Hanna Jr., 35, of Lock Haven, said he is running for office to bring more common sense, compromise and reforms to Harrisburg. He said his campaign will focus on government reform, jobs and education.

“Elected officials shouldn’t collect a paycheck when they can’t pass a state budget on time, the only bill they have to pass each year. Special interests in Harrisburg have taken over and our voices aren’t being heard,” he said. “That’s why we need reforms like a gift ban for legislators. I’ve lived under a gift ban in my previous job and it is time the Legislature enacts a gift ban, among other needed reforms.”

Hanna Jr. has served in government for the past 10 years.

Most recently, he has served as deputy secretary of Legislative Affairs in the Governor’s Office and was promoted this past summer to second-in-command dealing with legislative issues.

A lifelong resident of Clinton County, he is a graduate of Central Mountain High School and Lock Haven University.