By Cassie Kreider
Cynthia Lonergan, a history teacher at Penn Manor High School, ran for State Representative of the 41st district, but as of February 18, she is no longer in the race.
Lonergan withdrew from the race during a meeting of Lancaster County Republicans intended to select a candidate to receive the party’s endorsement.
Lonergan was running against Brett Miller, an East Hempfield Town Supervisor. The seat for the 41st district representative was occupied before by state Rep. Ryan Aument, who is now running to replace outgoing Sen. Mike Brubaker.
Lonergan decided to run after she was selected to represent the United States at an international governing seminar last summer. She traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, then to Seoul, South Korea and Beijing, China, in two weeks.
Meeting with leaders from other countries inspired her.
“I joined representatives from 10 other countries to discuss problems and most importantly, solutions to issues like health care, economic development, public pensions, poverty, housing, education and fiscal impacts on social changes,” said Lonergan on her international trip. “Many of the problems we face are not unique to the world and it is incredibly beneficial to have a global network of knowledge to work together, combine ideas and find solutions.”
In addition to her international work, Lonergan is involved in local politics.
Lonergan was the campaign manager for the re-election of Lancaster County Commissioners Scott Martin and Dennis Stuckey in 2011. She said she’s always been in a supportive role, helping others run for offices and seats.
A straw poll, or a poll to figure out which person a party is most likely to endorse, took place on Monday, January 20. Lonergan received six votes and her opponent, Miller, received 42 votes.
Lonergan said that without the endorsement from her party, she was not going to run.
Lonergan said from the beginning her chances of receiving the endorsement were almost nonexistent but that the feedback she has received from the community is very positive. She’s received phone calls and emails encouraging her to “stick with it,” and informing her that it took some of the best politicians years before they were elected.
“It’s political suicide to run without an endorsement,” said Lonergan. “It’s best to respect the endorsement.” She also explained that it is hard to raise money for your campaign if you have no endorsement.
She has no plans in the near future of running again and said it all depends on the timing.
Lonergan concluded with some words of wisdom for Penn Manor students.
“Nowadays with all the social media sites, everyone’s willing to speak their ideas and opinions, but no one is willing to do anything about them,” said Lonergan. “Go beyond that, don’t just talk, act. Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way, even if they’re unexpected.”