A lone Democrat has filed as a candidate in the 39th Legislative District, which includes parts of the South Hills and Mon Valley in Allegheny County and four municipalities in Washington County.
Sara-Summer Oliphant, 41, of South Park, is making her first bid for public office in the April 28 primary.
She holds a degree in journalism and mass communication from Point Park University and has worked in news and as a social media manager, but she described herself in a news release as a stay-at-home mom. Her husband, Joe, is a school principal.
The mother of five, Oliphant was named 2020 Pennsylvania Mother of the Year by the American Mothers Inc. charity.
She has volunteered for several causes, including St. Baldrick’s, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding cures for pediatric cancers.
The organization holds a fundraiser each year where participants gather pledges and shave their heads. On March 14, Oliphant will be going bald for the third time.
In a news release citing the number of children entering the foster care system because of parental drug abuse, she pledged, if elected, to be a champion for the youngest victims of the opioid epidemic.
“The foster and adoptive families who are working to create a new normal for these children need systems in place that help, not hinder, the healing process,” Oliphant said, citing a bill in Colorado that she sees as a model for families in Pennsylvania.
She also has an interest in educational equality and accountability.
“We need to ensure that every child has the resources necessary to obtain a good education, regardless of the community tax base. In addition, any school funded by taxpayer dollars, including charter schools, needs to be held to the same educational standards,” she said.
As a state representative, she also said she would support a raise in the minimum wage and advocate for what she called “livable wage.”
The 39th House District includes parts of South Park and Bethel Park in Allegheny County. Its Washington County communities are Union, Nottingham and Somerset townships and Finleyville Borough.