Leland announces run for the 167th

Wendy Graham Leland

The 2020 election season is kicking off with the first local announcement of a challenge in a Chester County state legislative district — with a military veteran announcing late Monday night, Veterans Day, that she would seek the 167th State House seat.

Describing herself as a “dedicated community leader and combat veteran,” retired Army Col. Wendy Graham Leland announced her candidacy for State Representative. Leland appears to be a Republican — although her party is not identified on the release she issued Monday night. She would be challenging freshman incumbent Democrat Kristine Howard, who knocked off Duane Milne for the seat in 2018.

“It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I share with friends, neighbors and the citizens of the 167th District my announcement to run for State Representative,” Leland said in her announcement release.

The 167th District includes the townships of Charlestown, Easttown, East Whiteland, West Pikeland, West Whiteland, Willistown and the borough of Malvern.

“As a long-time member of my community, I have worked for decades at the local level instituting positive change in this region,” she said. “Having served in the United States Army for 32 years as a citizen-soldier, I know what it means to stand up for what you believe in and fight for the freedoms we are so blessed to enjoy.”

Leland, now retired, commanded the first National Guard unit mobilized and deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 following the attacks on America on September 11, 2001.

She took issue with Howard, suggesting she is too partisan driven.

“Instead of trying to implement a radically partisan policy agenda like our current State Representative, my priorities will be those of the people in our district – reducing taxes, securing more funding for education and infrastructure, combating the opioid epidemic, and making our schools and community safer and more secure,” Leland said.

A mother of four children, and the daughter and mother of a firefighter, Leland graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and retired from the United States Army in 2012 as a Colonel. Duty assignments prior to her retirement include the Personnel Officer of 7,000 Soldiers for the historic presidential inauguration in 2009 and various Army and Joint assignments at the Pentagon and Fort Belvoir. Her husband is a retired Army Lt. Colonel, their second daughter is an active duty Army paratrooper stationed in Alaska, her brother is an active duty Major General in the United States Army Corps of Engineers and her sister-in-law is a retired Army Captain. Service runs strong in her family.

Leland serves on the Charlestown Planning Commission, Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee, Judge of Elections for Charlestown Township, and as Trustee at Great Valley Presbyterian Church, where she is also on the Preschool-In-The-Valley school board. A life member of Girl Scouts, she was the troop leader for her three daughters and involved in all of her children’s activities as they were growing. Since retiring from the Army, Leland travels the country instructing young Americans on the importance of duty, character and respect and has run 12 marathons.

For more information about Wendy, please visit her website: www.WendyGrahamLeland.com

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