The Lead

Veteran conservative activist Matt Brouillette says he’s running for Folmer’s state Senate seat

By: - September 25, 2019 6:02 pm

Matthew J. Brouillette. (Photo provided)

Matthew J. Brouillette, the former head of Harrisburg’s preeminent right-wing think tank, announced Wednesday that he is seeking the nomination for the state Senate seat last held by Mike Folmer.

Folmer resigned last week after being charged with possession of child pornography. He was first elected to represent the 48th state senatorial district — which includes Lebanon and parts of Dauphin and York counties — in 2006.

In a statement, Brouillette said he’s running “because the people of the 48th District deserve a strong conservative voice who is ready to take on the tough policy battles that lie ahead, to go on offense against those who destroy our American way of life, and to fight relentlessly to advance educational and economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.”

“This is a fight I’ve long been engaged in, and I’m ready to take to the Capitol,” he continued. 

Special election for former Sen. Mike Folmer’s seat to be held Jan. 14

From 2002 to 2016, Brouillette was president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation, a conservative think tank that supports charter schools, opposes raising the minimum wage, and lobbies lawmakers to tie state spending to revenue growth. 

He is currently the president and CEO of Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs, which “engages entrepreneurs to lead free-market change in Pennsylvania.”

The special election will be held Jan. 14, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced earlier Wednesday.

Unlike a regular election, there’s no primary for special election candidates. The Republican candidate will be selected by conference attendees picked by the county parties.

State Rep. Russ Diamond, R-Lebanon, said Wednesday he is considering seeking the nomination.

“I am pondering it, but I need to ponder a lot of things as I’m doing that because it’s a different job,” Diamond told the Capital-Star.

Staff reporter Stephen Caruso contributed to this story.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Sarah Anne Hughes
Sarah Anne Hughes

Associate Editor Sarah Anne Hughes covers the governor and Pennsylvania's agencies. Before joining the Capital-Star, she was the state capitol reporter for Billy Penn and The Incline, and a 2018 corps member for Report for America. She was previously managing editor of Washington City Paper, editor-in-chief of DCist, and a national blogger for The Washington Post.