At a campaign event for GOP Controller candidate Bob Sypniewski last May Renee Butts announced that she will be seeking the Republican nomination for the 118th State Rep District seat held by Democrat Mike Carroll. Well, things change and Renee now has other priorities.
So far I haven't heard of any Republican willing to take on any of the Democratic Luzerne County state legislators next year. I hope that some people will be willing to step up to the plate because I hate unopposed elections. After this year's version of the state budget fiasco they all deserve an opponent and that includes Republican Karen Boback.
Renee was kind enough to send along an explanation of her decision:
I apologize to the many who pledged to support me in my race for State Representative for the 118th Legislative District, and to all the people of the 118th who need a voice and need to be heard by their state representative, but I am no longer going to contend for this position.
Mr. Right proposed to me, and Mr. Right (one of the few conservative young men in this area) does not live in the 118th, and I’ve chosen the greater certainty of a life with Mr. Right over running against an incumbent Dem in NEPA (i.e. David vs. Goliath). My fiancé works in Hazleton – a long commute from the 118th. It would have been a bit premature to ask him to sell a house and move for an election I may not win. (I don’t think there are too many jobs for chemical engineers in the area, either.)
I feel as if I am letting down many of you. I’m sorry I was not able to be the person and the voice you needed. I wish I could find someone to take my place. I hope and pray that the 118th will find someone worthy to represent them or that the incumbent will make you more of a priority and change some of his stances, such as the tolling of I-80.
As I am no longer running, I feel compelled to tell you what else colored my decision. The other element to my decision was people in my own party. Yes, fellow Republicans. And I suppose what this comes down to isn’t one party or another – it is what is right for the people. I met with some resistance from Republicans who felt I should have worked for other state reps. They trotted out my former opponent’s resume, which includes working for people whom they wish to remove from office. (Why would they have wanted me to work for these people again?) They were willing to support someone they disagreed with instead of a young woman with a will to fight and a heartfelt desire to defend the best interests of the 118th and the interests of all Pennsylvanians, not to mention a woman whose ideals jived with their own. However, this was not the primary reason. Again, the primary reason is Mr. Right. Otherwise, I thought it might have, at the very least, been fun to try to win over these people. And, if not, prove them wrong, prove to them that I could have been their voice and worked tirelessly for them.
However, I do want to give a special thanks to the West End Republicans of Monroe County. These people were willing to whole-heartedly throw their support behind a political newcomer, not even from their hometown. But they liked what I had to say. There is a lot of heart there and anyone who would take my place would find a wealth of tireless enthusiasm and great welcome from these wonderful people. I wasn’t even from their county, but we connected over a desire for a different direction for Pennsylvania.
And to the many people who think I loathe Democrats, all of my bridesmaids are members of your party. But friendship, and the willingness to pull each other out of sticky situations definitely crosses the aisle. Though we disagree politically (I may loathe their ideals, and they may loathe mine), we are always there for each other. I hope that whichever party your next state representative is from will make the same commitment to you, because that is his responsibility. I hope that your next state rep can be truly a part of your communities, a part of your lives, and serve you proudly.
God Bless you all! I only hope for the best for you!