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Former WITF executive Blake Lynch launches bid for Congress

by Kim Lyons
October 24, 2023

In what he joked was the worst-kept secret in local Pennsylvania politics since Josh Shapiro announced he was running for governor, former WITF executive Blake Lynch confirmed in an interview with the Capital-Star on Tuesday that he’s joining the growing field of Democratic candidates seeking to oppose U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-10th District).

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Blake Lynch is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge GOP U.S. Rep. Scott Perry in the 10th District (Photo via Lynch campaign)

“Scott Perry is not reflective of the community any longer; he’s been fighting culture wars,” Lynch said. “I spent my career building bridges and establishing trust and grassroots coalitions to move the community forward.”

Perry, he added, has been focused on issues “that no one sees as progress but everyone sees as holding us back,” like holding up former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s election in January, restricting abortion rights, and nearly shutting down the government, Lynch said. 

Lynch sees several issues he’d want to tackle if elected to Congress. People in the district “want better schools, we’re hardworking taxpayers here, and there is no reason why our schools need to go without in so many areas,” he said. “Everyone wants lower everyday costs because inflation is a real thing right now.” 

People in central Pennsylvania care about and understand what their members of Congress can do to affect quality of life issues, he added. “They understand that bringing more funding back to local municipalities and townships means we can fix the potholes. These are things that are important, and that Perry hasn’t been doing.”   Candidate for Congress Blake Lynch and his family. (Photo via Lynch campaign)

Lynch grew up in Steelton public housing in a single-parent household after his father died suddenly when Lynch was 3 years old. He says the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harrisburg helped shape him, and he later returned to become the organization’s director of development. 

He also served as director of community relations and engagement for the City of Harrisburg, where he was liaison between the city’s police department and the community. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lynch worked with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to organize a food drive in Harrisburg.

His most recent role was as senior vice president and chief impact officer of WITF Public Media, where he led strategy and engagement on fundraising, government and community relations, and sales and marketing.

He and his wife Bryttani have two boys and live in Lower Paxton Township in Dauphin County.

“Every single one of the jobs I’ve held in my career, including my first minimum wage job at Wendy’s, has been located here in central Pennsylvania, in the 10th Congressional district,” Lynch said. “We live here, our children attend local schools here in the district. So we’re all in and understand the issues that are going on and what people want, and the struggles they’re going through. I believe I can bring that understanding to this race and really stand out with regards to my resume and track record of uplifting and serving the community.”

The field of Democrats seeking to challenge Perry continues to grow; in addition to Lynch, it includes former WGAL-TV anchor Janelle Stelson; retired Marine Mike O’Brien; Harrisburg City Councilor Shamaine Daniels, who is running her second campaign to try to unseat Perry; Carlisle school board member and Army veteran Rick Coplen, and retired Army sergeant Bob Forbes.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Pennsylvania Capital-Star is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news site dedicated to honest and aggressive coverage of state government, politics and policy.

The nearly 13 million people who call the commonwealth home depend on their interests being safeguarded by one of the nation’s largest, most expensive, and often inefficient and corrupt full-time state legislatures. The actions of the legislative, executive and judicial branches touch on almost every aspect of Pennsylvanians’ daily lives.

Since our launch in February 2019, the Capital-Star has emerged as a go-to source for in-depth original reporting, explainers on complex topics, features that ground policy debates, as well as progressive commentary on a range of issues.

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