Longtime conservative activist to run for vacant Folmer seat

Matt Brouillette, a conservative activist and well-known Harrisburg figure, is running for state Senate. (Courtesy of Matt Brouillette)

Matt Brouillette, a conservative activist and well-known Harrisburg figure, is running for state Senate. (Courtesy of Matt Brouillette)

The first candidate has filed to fill former GOP state Senator Mike Folmer’s Lebanon County seat, after the lawmaker’s abrupt resignation following a charge for child pornography possession.

Matt Brouillette is a familiar face around Harrisburg.

For 14 years, he headed the conservative Commonwealth Foundation, a think tank and lobbying group. And the last three years, he’s been involved in the Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs. Among other things, it raises money for conservative candidates and causes.

He’s also a onetime high school history teacher — and said if elected, one of his main goals will be to make sure charter schools and other non-public school options are well-funded.

“Look, I think the vast majority of children are attending public schools and always will,” he said. “But not every child is best served in the current system.”

In both of his recent roles, Brouillette has opposed minimum wage increases, supported “right to work” policies that weaken unions, and fought tax increases—most recently, ones on the natural gas industry.

Along with Lebanon, the 48th Senate District covers parts of York and Dauphin Counties. The special election to fill the seat is scheduled for Jan. 14.

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