Leon Spencer, Jr., the former Kennett Square mayor, hopes to be a state representative for everyone.
“I’m delighted to have the support of Democrats, Republicans, and independent voters alike. That’s how it’s supposed to be,” he said.
“It’s less about politics for me than it is about public service,” he told the Delaware Valley Journal. “I don’t consider myself a politician; I consider myself a public servant.”
Spencer, who is running for the Republican nomination to represent the 158th legislative district, says he believes he is the person to make what he sees as dysfunction in Harrisburg better.
“I’m big on unity,” said Spencer, who served as mayor for 11 years. “I really, really am.” He believes in working with others and finding consensus.
“I think it’s important, even though there are things we disagree on. I think it’s possible to sit down and come up with amicable solutions if we’re willing to communicate with each other.”
“I’m an educator,” Spencer said. “That’s my full-time job. I think we need to come up with some more equitable, fair way of funding education. I’m hearing too many stories, seeing too many examples of situations where some of the poorer districts are not getting the money they need in order to complete the task.” Spencer, 71, currently works at the Chester County Intermediate Unit as a network facilitator at Career Ready Chesco. The program helps children graduate with skills for good jobs, he said.
Another of Spencer’s priorities is high property taxes that force too many senior citizens on fixed incomes to sell their houses.
“We have to go back to the basic concept of controlling spending,” Spencer said. “We were all taught when we were growing up to live within our means.”
He is also concerned about rapidly decreasing open space and plans to support programs that promote preservation.
Although he grew up in Kennett Square, Spencer went to college in Ohio and stayed in that state for 22 years before coming home. Spencer is married to Katharine Spencer, who is retired from banking.
Former Pennsylvania State Representative Eric Roe endorsed Spencer.
“Leon’s public service has been about serving others,” said Roe. “As a member of the school board, Leon Spencer provided kids in Kennett with a great education. As a member of Kennett Borough Council, Leon Spencer held the line on taxes. And as the mayor of Kennett Square, he gave our police officers the resources they needed to protect and serve. I’m proud to support my friend Leon Spencer for State Representative because he will unite a divided Pennsylvania.”
Under redistricting plans, the proposed boundary lines of the 158th District contain the boroughs of Avondale and Kennett Square, as w and townships of West Bradford, East Fallowfield, Kennett, East Marlborough, West Marlborough, New Garden, Newlin, and Pocopson.
Democrat Rep. Christina Sappey currently represents the 158th District.