Stromyer Seeking Nomination for 21st District State Senate Seat

| January 31, 2020

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – Local resident Shelbie Stromyer has stepped forward to announce she will be running for the Democratic nomination for the 21st District State Senate seat.

Stromyer, a Venango County resident and a retired RN with a bachelor’s degree and over 30 years experience in the healthcare field, hopes to bring a new perspective to Harrisburg.

“Nurses always work on the philosophy with patients that we try to find a common ground and work from there,” Stromyer told exploreVenango.com.

“My platform is let’s work together and see what we can do. It’s going to take a lot of work, and I can’t make any promises, but if we work together and put our ideas together, we can get somewhere.”

She stated that’s a perspective that she’d like to bring to Harrisburg.

“We have a mess here in our region, and I can’t fix anything on my own; nobody can. It’s going to take teamwork.”

Stromyer has been deeply involved in the Nurses of Pennsylvania, a grassroots, non-profit organization of nurses focused on improving the care nurses provide by creating a healthcare system that puts patients first. Their main focus has been state legislation that would regulate nurse to patient ratios in hospitals and care facilities.

She has also been involved in the movement to save Polk and White Haven State Centers from closure.

It was her dedication to those issues that brought her to the attention of people who saw her passion and dedication, realizing that she would be a good candidate for a legislative position.

“Four months ago, the Democratic committee reached out to me because of the work that I’ve done with the Nurses of Pennsylvania, and speaking out for the disabled, and speaking out for our community on Polk Center and White Haven. They wanted to know if I wanted to run.”

Stromyer took the idea into consideration but didn’t come to a decision until she became concerned about yet another situation: proposed rollbacks on environmental protections that involve the “brine,” or salty waste product, from oil and gas production.

“I’m an old oncology nurse,” she noted. “I have watched so many people die of cancer, and we have struggled so much, and I have to do something.”

Stromyer has major concerns over the proposed environmental regulation rollbacks and what they could mean for our region.

“Pennsylvania is already number three for cancer in the nation, and we’re number one for thyroid cancer, and the primary source of thyroid cancer is radiation, and there’s radiation in this (brine).”

While Stromyer’s concern is primarily for the health and safety of the people of our region, there are also other issues at play.

“Thirty percent of our people – thirty percent of the people who are working – are still living at poverty levels.”

Stromyer stated that she definitely wants to bring more business and industry to the region; however, she fears our high rate of cancer, plus loosened regulations that she believes could cause that rate to increase further, could actually be keeping businesses away.

“Who is going to bring a business in here when they’re going to jeopardize the health of their employees and their employees’ families?”

Another major issue for the region that Stromyer would like to address is addiction.

“We need to address the drug issue. We need to start helping people, and we need more facilities that do in-depth treatment.”

Stromyer noted that she is a different kind of candidate, and she believes her life experience and perspective would be valuable in representing the realities of our region in Harrisburg.

“I don’t live a glorified life, and I never have. I know what it’s like to live like my neighbors around here. I’m tough, and I’ve lived a tough life. I know what it’s like to have things tough, and I’m not afraid to argue. I can cuss like a sailor, because that’s what nurses do, but I can also research like a professor. I look at the facts first before I say something.”

She also noted that although many people in our region are struggling, there are also many people in our region who want to push forward and put in the work to improve things here.

“We live in a beautiful community in a beautiful district, and there are wonderful people who live here, and there are educated people who live here, and we can’t change things – why exactly? Well, because everything that happens here is governed by Harrisburg, so we have to get somebody down there that’s not afraid to fight.”

Incumbent Scott Hutchinson (R) has also announced that he will be seeking re-election to a third term.


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