***UPDATE: Chadds Ford Live has just learned that Lenny Rivera has withdrawn his write-in campaign.***
There will be no regular Republican Party candidates for state representative for the 158th Legislative District on the April 26 primary. But there will be two write-in GOP candidates.
Perry Bentley has decided to re-enter the race, joining Lenny Rivera as a write-in candidate hoping to take over for Chris Ross, who is retiring from the state House after this year.
Chester County Republicans had endorsed Rivera as their candidate earlier this year, an action that caused Bentley to step out of contention. However, Rivera withdrew his name from the primary ballot after signatures on his ballot petition were challenged for irregularities.
Rivera then decided to run as a write-in candidate. Bentley now joins him in that write-in quest.
Bentley announced his intention in a letter saying, “Due to circumstances beyond the control of Republican voters in the 158th Legislative District, there will be no Republican candidate for state representative on the ballot for the April 26 primary. After a period of consultation with friends, family, and community leaders, I am announcing my candidacy as a Republican in the 158th Legislative District.”
He said in the letter that he did not want to see the legacy of Ross “diminished by allowing a Democrat to take office without any conservative, Republican opposition.”
Bentley added that with the primary less than 30 days away, the party needs a well-organized candidate who can launch a campaign quickly.
“I am ready to run today. I have the resources, desire and ability to mount an effective campaign to secure the Republican nomination on April 26. I pledge to run a campaign that will do all that is necessary to win,” he said in the letter, adding “Republicans in the 158th Legislative District need a well-organized, principled, and hard-working candidate with the campaign resources to defeat the Democrats. The Republican candidate must immediately launch a campaign that can quickly gain voter support and educate the public on how to cast a write-in vote.”
Bentley said his campaign mission would be to “send Chester County’s values of commonsense reform and fiscal sanity to Harrisburg.”
The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Susan Rzucidlo in November.