Chester County Republicans have found a formidable opponent for state Sen. Andy Dinniman, who is in his second year in the Senate after winning a special election in 2006 following the death of longtime GOP state Sen. Robert Thompson.
The 19th Senate District has always been Republican territory but the combination of a well-known, well-liked Democrat (Dinniman, who served many years as a Chester County commissioner) and a mediocre Republican candidate (fellow county commissioner Carol Aichele) tipped the scales.
The Chester County GOP sleepwalked through the 2006 campaign and lost a seat that the party should have held.
Republicans think they can take the seat back.
The man who they believe can do the job is Steve Kantrowitz, a retired two-star Navy admiral and a lawyer.
His last active-duty assignment was Special Assistant and Aide to the Judge Advocate General of the Navy. He also earned an advanced degree from George Washington University Law School during his more than five years of continuous active duty by attending classes at night.
Kantrowitz has a Web site and is circulating nominating petitions for the April 22 primary. He received the Chester County Republican Party's endorsement last month.
Although details are still sketchy, Kantrowitz will focus on the following issues:
* Cutting taxes and controlling spending to make Pennsylvania a leader among states in job and income growth.
* Preserving open space while safeguarding private property rights.
* Saving community hospitals and doctors by reforming a broken legal system.
* Restoring confidence in government through openness, honesty and candor, not only in Harrisburg but also in local government and school districts.
* Reforming our school system by demanding real accountability to parents, students and taxpayers.