A Saucon Valley business owner announced Friday that he is running for state representative in the 131st legislative district, which includes parts of Lower Saucon Township in Northampton County as well as swaths of southern Lehigh and upper Montgomery counties.
Andy Lee, 53, of Coopersburg, will challenge Republican incumbent Justin Simmons, 31, if he is successful in winning the Democratic primary and barring a successful primary challenge by a member of Simmons’ own party in the spring.
Lee owns Braveheart Highland Pub in Hellertown and Taps Tavern in Lower Saucon Township.
The Morning Call and other news outlets reported Friday that Simmons announced he is dropping out of the race for the Congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-15), who announced earlier this fall that he won’t seek re-election.
The announcement came after Simmons’ campaign for Congress struggled to gain momentum, and a letter in which he labeled another Republican candidate a too-moderate protege of Dent “backfired,” the newspaper reported.
Simmons had previously announced he would not seek re-election to the state legislature because he was running for Congress, but since he has dropped out of that race he will now seek re-election to the state House, the story indicated.
Simmons was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2010 after defeating Lower Saucon Township resident Karen Beyer in the Republican primary.
He term-limited himself to three terms, but ran for a fourth term and was re-elected in 2016, following legislative redistricting which increased the percentage of registered Republicans in the 131st district.
Lee said he is running on a pro-small business platform and hopes to be a moderate voice for common sense change in Harrisburg.
He also promised to be responsive to constituent concerns if elected, and pointed to the manner in which he operates his businesses–popular local bars and restaurants–as evidence of his commitment to treating people fairly and with respect.
Lee is married to Carol. They are the parents of three adult children and have a grandson.
Editor’s Note: Saucon Source LLC manages social media for Braveheart and Taps.