A politician who’s represented parts of the Saucon Valley in the state House of Representatives for nearly a decade announced Thursday that he won’t seek re-election in 2020.
State Rep. Justin Simmons, a Republican who represents the 131st district in the legislature, said in a news release that he is proud of what he’s accomplished since first being elected in 2010.
“I have been honored to serve the people of our community, I can do so knowing that I contributed to making a difference not only for the residents of Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton Counties, but for all Pennsylvanians,” he said.
Locally he said he has helped with securing grants and “stood side-by-side with residents on numerous important local issues–from supporting the Upper Perkiomen Police Department to fighting a proposed quarry in Lower Milford Township.”
Simmons cited the following as legislative highlights from his state House tenure:
- Sponsorship and passage into law of a measure that expanded the use of voter approval of local government borrowing in Home Rule counties such as Lehigh County.
- Sponsorship of a law that helps protect homeless infants by providing critical early intervention services.
- Authorship and passage of a law which provides civil immunity for school bus drivers and crossing guards who must administer epinephrine injections (epi-pens) to save the lives of children experiencing allergic reactions.
- Help with passage of historic pension reforms and liquor sales reforms.
“None of these achievements would have come to a successful completion without my excellent staff who have worked by my side throughout the years,” Simmons said. “They have given endlessly of themselves by providing outstanding constituent services. I am also forever grateful to the many volunteers who gave of their time and energy to my campaigns. I will be forever humbled by their faith in me.”
“I am proud of the record I have built advocating for the principles I have espoused throughout my career while still working across the aisle,” he added. “My service in the State House is, and always will be, a highlight in both my professional and personal life.”
The 131st legislative district includes the following muncipalities:
- Northampton County: Lower Saucon Township (part)
- Lehigh County: Upper Saucon Township, Coopersburg borough, Lower Milford Township, Upper Milford Township and Salisbury Township (part)
- Montgomery County: East Greenville, Pennsburg, Red Hill and Upper Hanover Township
A Hellertown business owner and resident of Upper Saucon Township, Kevin Branco, announced in August that he is seeking election as a Democrat to the state Simmons now holds. In 2018, another borough business owner, Andy Lee of Coopersburg, unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat in an attempt to unseat Simmons.