Emily Best, a farmer and agricultural advocate from McConnellsburg, has announced her campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 30th State Senate District race.
“Our representatives in government have been prioritizing the interests of insurance companies over our health, and the profits of oil and gas corporations over our environment and our budget,” Best said in her campaign announcement. “I have heard the frustration in my district and I am ready to be a voice of change in the face of this unfair economic system.”
The 30th District is rather oddly shaped, consisting of Blair, Huntington, and Fulton Counties as well as part of southwest Franklin County and western Cumberland County — the latter being connected to the rest of the district by a very narrow strip of land.
The district is represented by Sen. John Eichelberger, a Republican, of Hollidaysburg. Eichelberger will presumably be vacating the seat, as he has announced a bid for the GOP nomination to the 9th Congressional District, where current U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster is retiring.
Best, 34, graduated from Butler High School and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s in environmental policy from American University. She also served in the Peace Corps in West Africa.
Best is general manager of the Tuscarora Organic Growers Co-Operative, and was previously employed with New Morning Farm. She is a volunteer with the National Young Farmers Coalition and has spoken at several farm advocacy events in the state.
In addition to Best, state Rep. Judy Ward announced her intention last month to seek the Republican nomination for the 30th District senatorial seat. If both women are successful, Best and Ward would then face each other in the general election.
The 30th District has a significant Republican lean. Eichelberger ran unopposed in 2014 and 2010. In 2006, he won with 63 percent of the vote, compared to 37 percent for Democratic challenger Doug Morris.