George withdraws from 16th District race

John George

The crowded field to take on freshman Congressman Lloyd Smucker got a little less crowded Wednesday after John George announced he would withdraw from the race, saying he didn’t think he would be able to mount a competitive race.

“I have informed the Democratic Committee that I am suspending my campaign for Congress in the 16th District for 2018,” george said in a statement, Wednesday.  “I have reluctantly concluded that at present, I will not be able to run a successful congressional campaign this election cycle.”

George’s withdrawal leaves Christina Hartman — the 2016 Democratic nominee who recently earned an endorsement from Emily’s List — Jessica King and Richard Griffiths Smith Jr.  vying for the Democratic nod.

George said his initial decision to run was sparked by what he said he say as moral failings in our current elected officials.

“I originally chose to enter this race primarily because I was appalled by the rapid dissolution of integrity, honesty, and ethics that has occurred in our Executive and Legislative branches of government,” George said in his statement. “I was also distraught and angered by the injustices that were, and continue to be, inflicted against our citizens and many of our respected public institutions. As a citizen and a community leader, I believe I had an obligation to stand up, speak out, and act.”

Although his own campaign hasn’t been as successful as he hoped, George said the issues that led him to run, if anything, have gotten worse.

“Since I initially launched my campaign, the plight of our citizens has worsened,” George said. “Many of our elected officials have made it abundantly clear that they are willing to sacrifice traditional American values like goodness, kindness, empathy, and respect to advance a political agenda that may benefit a few but significantly harm many. Instead of declaring war on poverty they have declared war on those living in poverty. They have abandoned the middle class and pandered to the rich. They have tried to make access to affordable health care a privilege rather than a right. They claimed to be fiscal stewards while they plan to significantly add to our national debt. Their silence has promoted racism and their selective blindness has justified treachery.  They seek to profit off the education of children and fail to understand that public education is the bastion of democracy.”

While he is leaving the race, George said he doesn’t expect to move into the background.

“While a successful 2018 Congressional campaign seems unattainable, I will not remain silent when injustice is being committed,” he said. “I will remain engaged in political activities and vow to continue be a voice for public education and all those who face injustice because of their race, ethnicity, gender, economic status, religion, ability level, or sexual orientation. I am investigating options as to how I may best serve the people of our community without compromising my effectiveness as a husband, father and educator.”


During the past several months, I have met many wonderful and genuine people; I am humbled by the kindness and generosity that has been bestowed. I thank them, everyone who has been so supportive of my campaign, and, of course, my family, for their support.

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