Stopperich running for 48th Legislative seat

February 12, 2014
Sonia Stopperich

North Strabane Township Supervisor Sonia Stopperich announced Wednesday she will be a Republican candidate in the May 20 primary election for state representative in the 48th Legislative District. The incumbent in the district is State Rep. Brandon Neuman, who is pursuing a bid for lieutenant governor while seeking a third, two-year term in the General Assembly.

Stopperich, who works as a nurse at Canonsburg Hospital, attended the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., as an alternate delegate. A member of the Republican Party State Committee, in 2008 she was the field director for the McCain-Palin Campaign for Washington County. She is also a precinct-level committeewoman in North Strabane Township, and in 2010, she was selected to be a member of the Anne B. Anstine Excellence in Public Service Series, a political leadership training program for Republican women. Stopperich was elected to a six-year term as township supervisor in 2011, taking office in January 2012.

“As a mother of four and a nurse, I know middle class families need a fighter,” Stopperich said in a news release. “As your state representative, I’ll never forget that I work for you everyday – not the special interests.”

Stopperich said if elected, she would focus on “first reforming Harrisburg so that state government puts taxpayers first again. We need to get Harrisburg working again for taxpayers. That means reforming our system to end public perks and pensions and to align our spending with the priorities of taxpayers, not with special interests.”

An announcement of Stopperich’s candidacy arrived at the Observer-Reporter at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday from the North Strabane Township government account of Greg Sulc, director of parks and recreation.

“I was not aware of that,” Stopperich said of the campaign announcement from Sulc’s township email account. “I was at work all day. That’s not something that I would have authorized. I have a separate email and bank account for the campaign.”

Asked about the use of the township email to disseminate information about a political campaign, Sulc said, “I accidentally must’ve hit the wrong button. That’s my fault. It has nothing to do with the township.” He said he sent the email during his lunch break and thought it would bear the address of his Comcast account.

He and Stopperich are dating, and Sulc said he is an assistant to her campaign treasurer, Jeffrey Fine.

It was recently revealed that the state Ethics Commission has been investigating Sulc’s appointment to the parks and recreation post immediately after resigning as a township supervisor in September 2011.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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