Phil Mennitti, a Republican who lives in Gaskill Township, Jefferson County, has announced his candidacy for the 66th District seat being vacated by House Speaker Sam Smith.
An employee in the Marion Center Area School District, Mennitti said in a press release that he is running to help establish career term limits on all publicly elected officials, to “get money out of politics,” campaign finance reform, and, most importantly, to create jobs.
He said he is currently circulating the required petition to collect the mandated 300 Republican signatures so his name can appear on the ballot for the primary election on May 20.
Mennitti has written a book titled “A Commoner’s Guide to Defeating the Aristocracy,” detailing what he says has gone wrong in the nation’s political system.
Smith, R-Punxsutawney, announced earlier this month his intention to retire from politics at the end of his current term.
Cris Dush, a Brookville Republican, also has announced his intention to run for the seat.
The 66th District encompasses all of Jefferson County, northern Indiana County and one township in Armstrong County.
Voters in Marion Center and Smicksburg boroughs and Banks, Canoe, East Mahoning, Grant, North Mahoning and West Mahoning townships can cast ballots in this race.