COAL TOWNSHIP — Ryan Mock, a Democrat, remembers vividly the moment when he decided to jump into the political fray and start a write-in campaign for the 107th Pa. House seat, replacing Republican Kurt Masser, who elected not to serve another term.
"I've always wanted to make a difference in my community," he said Monday. He moved to Coal Township four years ago when he got married (his wife's name is Kristina). "I've been voting in my district and what really bothered me was when they had the primary I went in to vote and looked for the Democrat representing our district in the primary. And there was no one."
There should always be a choice, Mock said. "I understand that this district tends to be Republican, and that's fine. But I just feel like no one should run unopposed."
Currently, Joanne Stehr, of Hegins, is the Republican candidate on the ballot running for the 107th seat.
Back in June-July he gave it some thought and decided, "hey, I'm gonna throw my hat in the ring and give the people in the 107th District a choice come the general election."
The Northumberland County Democratic Committee fully supports and endorses Ryan Mock's candidacy, said Leocadia Paliulis, on Monday. "We have met several times to discuss best practices for a write-in campaign and to consider how the Committee can best help him."
High on Mock's agenda are issues such as blight, "specifically in Coal Township and Shamokin. That is something I want to address, especially with absentee landlords. I want to see how we can lower the cost of perscription drugs and healthcare costs, making it more accessible in our area."
Education is another issue he mentioned. "In order to keep good teachers, we need to pay them," he said.
"I'd like to bring green-energy manufacturing to the area, which would bring jobs back to our area."
Calling himself an extrovert, Mock has been out to several events recently, such as Shamokin Night Out and Christmas in July in Sunbury. "We're also going to be canvassing, knocking on people's doors asking for votes."
Mock, 36, is a 2005 graduate of Selinsgrove Area High School and a 2009 graduate of Susquehanna University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, as well as a teaching certificate.