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SR mayor announces state House candidacy

Slippery Rock Mayor Jondavid Longo thanks attendees after announcing his intent to run for the proposed state House District 8 at a Red Wave Rally at the North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock Township on Saturday. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle

SLIPPERY ROCK TWP — Slippery Rock Mayor Jondavid R. Longo on Saturday announced he will run for the state House of Representatives should the currently proposed legislative maps hold up.

The mayor, who made the afternoon announcement at North Country Brewing Company, said he would only run for the House District 8 seat should, in any adopted map, he not be running against any Republican incumbents. District 8 in the current proposal would be squarely in Butler County and not include where any incumbent state representative lives.

“Pennsylvania is adopting new legislative districts, and Slippery Rock may become part of an entirely new legislative district,” Longo said. “But if the maps don’t hold and change once more, I would gladly support our Republican incumbents, as I always have, and their teams to help ensure our collective success.”

Currently, District 8 is occupied by Republican Rep. Tim Bonner of Grove City, while Slippery Rock is represented by Rep. Aaron Bernstine, R-10th, of New Beaver. The proposed District 8 would include Jackson Township to the south, stretch north to Slippery Rock and Mercer Township, go east to Allegheny Township and stretch back south to Donegal Township.

Neither Bonner nor Bernstine would live in the proposed District 8, leaving the seat open for Longo’s candidacy.

Longo’s reputation for working hard, being a caring community member and having Republican values were all touted by those who introduced him, including Sheriff Michael Slupe and Andrew Bucci, a Hermitage School District director.

"This is a movement, a movement to thrust conservative leadership across the state. So we want to send a tidal wave,“ said New Castle Mayor Chris Frye Jr. ”And you guys can do it. You can open up your mouth, volunteer, share posts on social media for leaders like myself, like J.D. (Longo) and like many other greats that are coming up alongside of us or are with us.“

The mayor has served Slippery Rock since 2017, and was re-elected to another term in 2021.

Longo, halfway through his speech, told those in attendance he would work to advance Butler County’s interests should he be elected, adding he wouldn’t compromise on issues directly affecting county residents.

He also said he has a history of standing up to government regulations he feels are unjust, such as ensuring COVID-19 mitigation lockdowns didn’t affect Slippery Rock businesses.

“We found way to keep Slippery Rock opened during the unlawful shutdowns over the last two years,” Longo said. “In fact, we created an environment so conducive to commercial growth and development that we saw the opening of 20 new businesses in Slippery Rock and the creation of hundreds of new jobs in town in just a few years, all despite the shutdowns orchestrated by a tyrannical governor.”

Longo added that while legislators in Washington, D.C., may receive more attention, he feels work closer to home is more important to advance conservative goals.

“It’s going to happen right here, in downtown Sippery Rock, in Butler County, in places across Western Pennsylvania and the region, and it’s going to happen at our own kitchen tables,” Longo said. “It’s going to be in places like that we can help to shape the narrative to reinforce the fabric of society.”

Slippery Rock Mayor Jondavid Longo announces his intent to run for the proposed state House District 8 during a Red Wave Rally at the North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock Township on Saturday. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle
Attendees applaud Saturday during a Red Wave Rally at the North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle