HERMITAGE Gruitza will defend his seat in House

The incumbent said he offers 'a steady hand at the helm.'
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- State Rep. Michael Gruitza, D-7th, is seeking an 11th term in office.
Gruitza, 50, who has served as the state representative from the Shenango Valley since 1981, announced his re-election bid this week.
He is Democratic chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee, a new committee formed in 2001, and previously served as Democratic chairman of the House State Government Committee.
Gruitza said he is "a steady hand at the helm" and that he has brought an extensive amount of state financial assistance to the district, particularly for community development and transportation projects.
Award: His support for public education was recognized by the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV, an educational agency, which earlier this year presented him with its distinguished service award.
Gruitza was also an active supporter in the successful campaign to reduce and eventually abolish the state "widow's tax."
"It is easy to spit and sputter that one is going to march into Harrisburg and shake it down to its foundation," he said. "The real work is what goes on day to day, knowing how to work with 202 other legislators in the House in a way that moves legislation toward what you believe is in the best interest of the people who entrust you with the office."
He said he will continue to provide responsible and dedicated leadership if he is re-elected.
Gruitza and his wife, Joan, have three children.
Opponent: He will be opposed in the primary by Jim Lumpp of Hermitage, a member of the Hermitage School Board. Lumpp made an unsuccessful bid to unseat Gruitza as a Republican in 1998 but has changed parties and will run as a Democrat this year.

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