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Hempfield farmer to challenge for state House seat

| Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Hempfield Supervisor Tom Logan, a Republican, said he hopes to challenge eight-term incumbent R. Ted Harhai of Monessen when the Democrat seeks re-election this year in the 58th Legislative District.

Logan, 57, a fifth-generation farmer who was elected to his second, six-year-term on the township board last year, believes he can better serve residents of the district, which spans portions of central and southwestern areas of Westmoreland County and three municipalities in eastern Fayette County.

Logan will vie for the Republican nomination during the primary election on May 20.

“We need conservative leaders in the state House who understand the different needs of rural residents and those who live in our cities. I live at the intersection those two communities and have worked hard to help the residents of both,” said Logan, who grows nearly 2,000 acres of corn, soybean, wheat and hay, and maintains 200 head of cattle.

Harhai, 59, was first elected to the House in 1998. The veteran legislator was not opposed in the 2012 general election.

Logan said as township supervisor, he has established himself as a fiscal conservative by refusing to increase property taxes, controlling spending and debt, and developing long-range plans to address pending issues.

“I am running because I have the best interests of local residents near and dear to my heart, and I want to protect their values and rights in Harrisburg. My family settled in Westmoreland County many years ago, and (my wife) Joann and I raised our family on the same family farm where I grew up,” Logan said.

Logan said he and his wife have been married for 38 years, are the parents of three children and have three grandchildren. The Logans are members of West Hempfield Presbyterian Church, where he has served as a deacon. Logan also is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.

Logan is a graduate of Hempfield Area High School and attended Penn State University, studying agricultural business.

If elected, Logan pledged to “pay a portion of my health care just like I do in my current job. ... strongly support real pension reform, and I'll never vote for a pay raise,” he said in a news release.

He said he will drive his own car and refuse “costly taxpayer-paid per diems.”

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 orppeirce@tribweb.com.

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