Just eight days after announcing his candidacy for the 15th District state legislative seat, John Bruner of Buffalo Township dropped out of the race. Bruner, a Democrat, announced he would run against Republican state Rep. Jim Christiana of Beaver County in the reconfigured 15th District that now takes in a chunk of Washington County.
“After giving this a lot of thought, we have decided to step out of this campaign for state representative – 15th Legislative District,” Bruner posted on his Facebook page. “With an area that includes 25 municipalities in two different counties, I simply underestimated the large task at hand. Not having full-time staff while having full-time jobs created a situation that became overwhelming. Trying to continue this into November would have been impossible.”
Bruner, 42, is a South Strabane Township police officer.
Christiana was laying the groundwork for a 2012 run in the newly-configured district for the first time when the state Supreme Court ruled that the boundaries statewide were so gerrymandered that the proposed map needed to be revised.
With only a short time before the April 2012 primary, the court kept intact boundary lines drawn after the 2000 U.S. Census, which meant that Christiana and other incumbents and hopefuls did not branch out into new territory. A new map later won a stamp of approval.
Bruner attended the Washington County League of Women Voters legislative luncheon Friday, when changing the reapportionment process was one of the topics. Christiana, a Beaver resident, had a prior commitment, said Judy Hughes, league president.
Washington County municipalities in the 15th Legislative District include Amwell, Blaine, Buffalo, Cross Creek, Donegal, East Finley, Hanover, Hopewell, Independence, Jefferson, Morris, South Franklin and West Finley townships and Claysville, Green Hills and West Middletown boroughs.
An email inquiry and voicemail message to the Bruner campaign were not returned during business hours Wednesday.