State Rep. Matthew Dowling (R- 51) announced that he will be running for re-election in the 2018 campaign season.
Dowling was first elected to the House in 2016, defeating incumbent Tim Mahoney.
“Two years ago, I made a promise to stand strong for the taxpayers of community, support commonsense policies that create jobs, fight the opioid epidemic and work for everyone by refusing to play political games,” Dowling said.
“I am proud that I have kept that promise, but know that much remains to be accomplished to make our communities and our state stronger for the future.”
In Harrisburg, Dowling has quickly earned a reputation as a tough watchdog for taxpayers by standing against Gov. Wolf’s disastrous tax-and-spending increase agenda and attack on the Second Amendment and Pro-Life values of Fayette and Somerset counties.
“Where my predecessor was a willing ally in Gov. Wolf’s liberal agenda and chose to partake of every taxpayer-paid perk Harrisburg offered, I have been a consistent voice to control spending and have led by example by refusing the per diems and perks,” Dowling said. “My goal is to deliver true public service by refusing to play political games and focusing on the issues.”
Dowling has also gained a reputation as a leader in the effort to address the opioid epidemic. In just his first year in office, he helped pass a bipartisan package of new laws that was praised for its focus on combatting the epidemic through changes in prescription rules, professional education, prevention efforts and law enforcement.
Dowling also delivered bipartisan budgets that included increased funding for treatment and prevention efforts.
“I am proud that –– working in a bipartisan manner –– we have accomplished more in the fight against opioids over the past two years than in the 10 years before that combined,” Dowling stated.
“Opioids know no economic, geographic or racial lines,” he continued.
“They are simply hurting Pennsylvanians and must be dealt with strongly. I will continue to focus on this issue to help provide a brighter future for our families,” he added.
Dowling said that other areas of focus during his first term has been job creation, education and infrastructure, noting how these issues, while each important on their own, combine to help drive the economic and job growth our area needs.
“Quality schools better prepare our children for the job market of tomorrow. A strong infrastructure system with the roads and highways we need to connect our community to bigger metro centers and the interstate system makes our area more attractive to job creators.
And having a fair and predictable tax and regulatory system in our state makes Pennsylvania more competitive in the national marketplace for employers,” Dowling said.
“I am working to address these issues in a comprehensive manner to better retain and attract the jobs we need and improve the quality of life for residents,” he added.
As representative, Dowling supported reforms that are helping to control state spending and bring greater transparency to the budget process, worked to provide record levels of state funding for basic education, voted in favor of tax and regulatory reforms that make the state more attractive to job creators and supported completion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway and its Southern Beltway Connector.
“While many people think being representative is about passing legislation in Harrisburg, I think the more important part of the job is helping real people here at home,” Dowling said.
“I want to listen to and help people. That is why I have made strong constituent services, extensive community outreach and local issues such a large part of what I do,” he continued.
Dowling pointed to examples of his efforts on this front, including hosting gun rights seminars; bringing important state government committee meetings to our community to increase citizen participation in government; delivering grants to local schools, volunteer fire and emergency services companies and for community projects; and outreach efforts like his popular “Morning Meetings with Matt” town hall meetings, “Office Open Houses” across the district to better listen to and serve constituent concerns and his Senior Expo.
A pro-life, pro-Second Amendment legislator, Dowling voted in favor of legislation to limit abortions to 20 weeks, which Gov. Wolf vetoed.
Dowling said he is currently sponsoring legislation to better defend the rights of law-abiding gun owners from overreach by the state under Gov. Wolf’s declared state of emergency over the opioid crisis.
“I will never allow the core values of our community to be ignored by this liberal governor and his allies in Harrisburg,” Dowling said.
“The rights of life, liberty and freedom are the foundation of our Commonwealth and must always be defended,” he continued.
“They are not political chips to be traded in legislative games,” Dowling added.
Dowling is a native son of the 51st District and brings to the legislature experience as a successful small business owner and active community volunteer.
Dowling also served as a Rotary District Governor for the seven-county region.
Dowling and his wife, Rebecca, are the proud parents of two young sons.