State Sen. Judy Schwank announced that she will seek a third term representing Berks County in the 11th Senatorial District.
The Ruscombmanor Township Democrat said she has accomplished a lot in during her two terms in office. She touted her work fostering sustainable growth, promoting agriculture, improving education, preventing domestic violence, enhancing economic growth and addressing the school funding problem plaguing the state.
But she said there is more she wants to accomplish.
"Serving the people of Berks County in the state Senate has been a great honor and privilege,” Schwank said in a Jan. 3 press release announcing her decision to run again. "I’ve made it my mission to serve my constituents in a manner that reflects the trust and confidence they have placed in me. In turn, I’ve made a goal of providing effective and energetic leadership in my district and in Harrisburg.”
Schwank, who serves as minority chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and vice chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said that since first being elected in 2011 she has earned the respect of her colleagues and her constituents as a serious, thoughtful and engaged public servant who can work across the political aisle.
“Over my eight years of service, I’ve worked hard to ensure my district has a voice in Harrisburg,” she said. “While we have accomplished much together, there are many other vital issues we must tackle. I’m energized and ready to do that and more.”
One of those vital issues, the 68-year-old said, is advocating for a fair resolution about how to fund schools.
“I understand the incredible burden school property taxes place on homeowners, especially our older residents on fixed incomes,” she said. “Working with a bipartisan group of my colleagues, I’ve redoubled my efforts to finally solve this issue. Working together, we can and must make this happen.”
Schwank said she is particularly proud of her efforts to promote projects that are fueling revitalization efforts in downtown Reading, Muhlenberg Township and the Reading Airport; to secure resources for important infrastructure upgrades and road improvements throughout the region; to address the opioid crisis by advocating for more state and federal funding; and to advocate for programs that help address homelessness and combat domestic violence.
She also underscored her work on agricultural issues. She highlighted her leadership on state measures to assist dairy farmers, her pursuit to get the Pennsylvania Farm Bill through the Legislature and her advocacy for new opportunities for farmers with the passage of hemp legislation in 2016.
“I feel it is important to work side by side with my constituents in making our community a better place,” she said.
Schwank is the first candidate to announce a run for the 11th Senatorial District in the April 28 primary. State senators serve a four-year term and receive an annual salary of $88,610.