Thursday, February 11, 2016

Truck driving entrepreneur seeks GOP nod for PA state rep

Russ Diamond, a 50-year old Republican who was named one of three "Citizens of the Year" by the Inquirer in 2006 for his PACleanSweep anti-incumbency movement, declared this morning that he is seeking the GOP's nomination for State Representative in Eastern Lebanon county’s 102nd district.

Truck driving entrepreneur seeks GOP nod for PA state rep

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Russ Diamond, a 50-year old Republican who was named one of three "Citizens of the Year" by the Inquirer in 2006 for his PACleanSweep anti-incumbency movement, declared this morning that he is seeking the GOP's nomination for State Representative in Eastern Lebanon county’s 102nd district.

Diamond, an self-described entrepreneur and former musician, works as an over-the-road truck driver. In an interview today, the Annville resident described himself as an advocate of  “massive government reform" making property tax relief his central theme.

“Somebody needs to tackle the topic of property tax relief in Harrisburg, and I am the person to do it,” Diamond said, adding, “Somebody with a strong voice who knows how to navigate the political waters and can make things happen.”

Diamond, who has been divorced four times and has no children, has posted a video explaining his motivation for running on his Website.

The 102nd seat is currently held by GOP Rep. RoseMarie Swanger, who announced last month she is not running for reelection due to her support for term limits.

The crowded GOP field already includes Joe Eisenhauer, a land-development consultant, and Wanda Bechtold, a Realtor.

Diamond most recently lost a 2010 bid for the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor, which eventually went to Bucks County’s Jim Cawley, who is now serving alongside Gov. Tom Corbett. Diamond came in 6th place out of 9 candidates, with just over 4.49% of the vote.

In its 2006 endorsement of Diamond, the Inquirer said Diamond was one of three individuals who “shook democracy to its core in Pennsylvania in 2005 … orchestrat[ing] the grassroots revolt that forced state lawmakers to repeal their sleazy pay raise and toppled a Supreme Court justice.” The editorial added, “Within days of the legislature approving the pay raise, Diamond created a Web site called Operation Clean Sweep, devoted to defeating all incumbents. In two days, he received about 2,300 e-mail.”

 Contact John Featherman at john@featherman.com

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