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Richland's Jacob Pavlecic seeking House seat in Pennsylvania's 30th District

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, 12:21 p.m.
Jacob Pavlecic, 20, a Richland resident and University of Pittsburgh student, is seeking a House seat in the state's 30th district.
Jacob Pavlecic, 20, a Richland resident and University of Pittsburgh student, is seeking a House seat in the state's 30th district.

A 20-year-old Richland resident is seeking to unseat Republican state Rep. Hal English to represent the 30th legislative district, which includes. Hampton, Shaler and Richland.

Democrat Jacob Pavlecic, a student at the University of Pittsburgh, is running on the platform, “Fresh face, fresh perspective.”

“I want to restore people's faith in democracy,” he said. “It's time for people to know they can trust politicians.”

English, a Hampton lawyer, has served the 30th District since 2013. The region also includes Fox Chapel and parts of O'Hara.

Having graduated from Pine-Richland High School just three years ago — and not too far removed from earning the rank of Eagle Scout — Pavlecic admits he's an atypical candidate but said he is eager to prove himself to constituents.

“I think people are a little skeptical but I do care deeply about policy,” Pavlecic said. “I've done my homework.”

Pavlecic will join Valley Democrats at “Rally in the Valley” from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Feb. 28 at Futules' Harmar House, 1321 Freeport Road, Cheswick.

He hopes to meet with voters and discuss issues important to his campaign among which he said include policy reform for legislative per diems, healthcare costs and occupational licensing.

Pavlecic called unacceptable the practice of state legislators outside of Harrisburg being permitted to claim up to $189 a day without receipts.

“Receipts must be provided, extra funds must be returned to the treasury, and the total amount of per diems must be capped on a yearly basis,” he said.

Pavlecic said he believes in research and details that lead to evidence-based solutions.

He plans to canvass Hampton, Shaler and Richland neighborhoods to introduce himself to residents.

While Pavlecic didn't plan a path in politics — law school applications are on hiatus — he said the 2016 election left he and friends desperate for change.

“My friend said to me genuinely, ‘If you really want to get into the policy, why can't we be the change?”

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Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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