A Carlisle man Tuesday announced his candidacy for the 11th Congressional District seat held by Republican Lou Barletta.

Though the election for that race will not take place until next year — this year’s primary and November election are mostly for judge and municipal races — Robert “Alan” Howe said he’s seen enough of “skinny budgets” that cut services and benefit the richest Americans.

Howe said he will seek the Democratic nomination for the 2018 race.

“Republican policies that reduce money coming into our communities to a ‘trickle’ help no one,” Howe said in his announcement. “These policies dry up demand, causing businesses to wither and jobs to disappear. It is time to restore local growth. It is time for Democratic policies.”

Howe said he will visit voters in the 11th Congressional District over the next 19 months to listen to their concerns.

The 11th District covers Cumberland County and runs in a narrow strip north to Hazleton.

Howe is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving 24 years, 20 of which were overseas assignments in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He was a communications and operations planner, helping plan and launch special operations actions in the 2003 Iraq War. Howe’s medals include Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal (two awards) and the U.S. Air Force Achievement Medal.

Howe retired in 2005, and purchased a house with his wife, Hiromi Kowaguchi, in Carlisle in 2012. He moved to Carlisle full time in 2014 and has served on several local boards, most recently as the Carlisle Borough representative on the LeTort Regional Authority.

In politics, Howe in 2006 authored a stabilization plan for Iraq to advance the U.S. Senate debate. He also lobbied Senate offices in 2007 and 2008 with the help of professors from American University and Wayne State University, eventually being asked to write elements of his plan into a Senate amendment for consideration by the Democratic caucus.

Howe and his wife also worked with staff in Sen. Bill Nelson’s office to reverse decisions by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service that discriminated against military families.

Howe fly fishes on local streams and is involved in teaching stream ecology to Carlisle students. Howe has a daughter and four grandchildren, as well as a son-in-law on active duty with the U.S. Army.

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