Rivera pulls out of 158th District race

Chesco GOP to pick new candidate for April write-in campaign

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

ChescoGOPLogoMore drama in the ongoing 158th District State House race: after withdrawing his nominating petitions earlier this week after a legal challenge suggested issues with how they were signed and notarized, Lenny Rivera announced Monday that he would end his write-in bid for the seat.

State Rep. Chris Ross (R-158) is retiring from the seat.

The New Garden resident who practices law in Kennett Square put word out Monday afternoon that he planned to end his campaign, leaving no clear Republican opponent for Democrat Susan Rzucidlo.

“After discussing this with my family, close friends and supporters, I’ve decided not to seek election as State Representative in the 158th District,” Rivera said in a statement. “I believe my candidacy will be a distraction and take away from the important issues facing the residents of my district. Because of that, I will return to private life. I appreciate all of the hard work and dedication my volunteers and supporters have provided to my campaign.”

Rzucidlo seemed to be almost incredulous that for the second straight election cycle, Republicans managed to back a candidate against her only to see them withdraw weeks before an election — East Marlborough’s Cuyler Walker withdrew from the 2014 race in September of that year and Ross agreed to run one last time, defeating Rzucidlo in the 2014 general election.

“This is the second time in two election cycles that the Chester County Republican Party Leadership has brought forward candidates who ended up either under criminal investigation (2014) or admitted to breaking the law (2016),” she said. “I am running a Republican write in campaign because Republican voters should have the choice to vote for a candidate who shares their values of ethical, effective and efficient government. If voters are interested in contacting me about specific state issues they can call or text me at 610-659-3145.”

Meanwhile, county Republicans expressed appreciation for Rivera — and said they are prepared to move forward to find a new candidate for the 158th.

“Lenny Rivera is a man of integrity, and I respect his decision. It takes courage to put the community before personal aspirations. Lenny is a longtime supporter of Republican causes and a friend of many years,” said Val DiGiorgio, Chairman of the Republican Committee of Chester County, in a statement released Monday. “The Republican Committee of Chester County will meet to endorse a new candidate for State Representative in 158th State House District.”

As of right now, no candidate will appear for the Republicans on the 158th District ballot on April 26. A candidate will need to win a write-in campaign during that primary to appear on the ballot for the November election.


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One Comment

  1. Kris says:

    Bentley would be a fool to not get in. It’s his for the taking (if he wants this mess).

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