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Politics

Carlisle's Coplen announces campaign switch to challenge Perry for 10th Congressional District seat

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Just a week after announcing his candidacy for a state Senate seat, Democratic Carlisle School Board member Rick Coplen announced Tuesday that he will now run for Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District seat.

Coplen said in a news release that the switch in focus follows Monday's announcement by former state Auditor General Eugene Depasquale that he will not run for office in 2022. Depasquale posted a message on his campaign website and social media Monday.

"The family meeting to discuss this decision was short and sweet,” Coplen said. "Given our decades of service together in the U.S. Army and our perception of significant future national challenges and opportunities, my wife Lorelei and I quickly agreed: Duty calls!"

Coplen, 62, had announced last week he would run for Cumberland County's open 34th state Senate seat.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-York), the incumbent for the 10th Congressional District, defeated Depasquale for the seat in 2020. Perry had over 53% of the votes, with 204,802 ballots cast in his favor. DePasquale had just over 46% with 178,634 votes.

The 10th Congressional District had included northern York County, part of Cumberland County and all of Dauphin County since 2018. The new congressional map chosen by the state Supreme Court last week adds more of Cumberland County to the district.

Since that change, there has been more Democratic interest in the seat. Perry is also under fire from Democrats after he said in December he would not meet with the Jan. 6 committee investigating the insurrection at the Capitol. The panel had sent him a letter in December asking that he sit for an interview and turn over documents.

Coplen, a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran, has served on the Carlisle School Board since 2015 and is a professor at the U.S. Army War College and a faculty member at Elizabethtown College. He said his campaign for Congress will hold its first event at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Carlisle Ribbon Mill on East Louther Street.

"Throughout my career, I have focused on bringing people together to solve problems, drawing on the best of people from different backgrounds to find common purpose and make positive achievements that help everyone,” Coplen said in the news release. "Congress conspicuously needs this kind of leadership in a place where incumbents have found it easier to throw bricks at one other rather than laying them to build the foundation for a better nation."

Email Jeff at jpratt@cumberlink.com. Follow him on Twitter @SentinelPratt.

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