Retirements are always plentiful at the end of a legislative session. Come the end of 2014, both the House and the Senate will be saying good-bye to longtime members whose careers, woven together, have helped form the colorful squares that together form the eclectic quilt of Pennsylvania’s politics and policy.
This year, six Senators and 22 House members are moving on, including the Speaker of the House, Rep. Sam Smith and several House and Senate committee chairs. The vacancy each leaves brings about political intrigue, especially during a gubernatorial election year. However, before we get into the horseraces of the fall, let’s look back on the service of these public servants. Some we may even see again!
Today, we start with Rep. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster). Rep. Aument has served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since 2011. He is closing out his second term in order to run for the state Senate seat being vacated due to the retirement of Sen. Mike Brubaker. This session, he served on the Labor and Industry, Education, Human Services, and Appropriations Committees.
Rep. Aument has demonstrated a strong commitment to government service at the local, state and federal levels. Prior to his service in the PA House, Rep. Aument served as the Lancaster County Clerk of Courts. He was also Chief of Staff for Rep. Bryan Cutler and a member of the Quarryville Borough Council. Before his career in state and local public service, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Rep. Aument is a graduate of the Citadel and currently resides in Landisville with his wife and children.
For more on Rep. Aument, see: http://www.repaument.com/bio.aspx
Rep. Michele Brooks (R-Crawford/Lawrence/Mercer) is also leaving her House seat to run for the state Senate. Since 2006, Rep. Brooks has represented the 17th legislative district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She is currently running for the 50th district’s Senate seat, which became open due to Sen. Bob Robbins’ retirement.
This session, her committee assignments included Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Gaming Oversight, Professional Licensure, and Aging and Older Adult Services, where she served as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Programs and Benefits.
Rep. Brooks came to the House with a background in local government. She served as vice chairman of the Mercer County Board of Commissioners and prior to that was a member of the Jamestown Borough Council. She has also served as president of the northern Mercer County United Way.
A graduate of the Anne Anstine Excellence in Public Service Series, Brooks resides in the 17th with her husband and two children.
For more information on Rep. Brooks, see: http://www.repbrooks.com/bio.aspx
Stay tuned for more tributes to retiring members throughout the next several weeks. Both the House and Senate are scheduled to be back in session September 15.