A once vocal supporter of state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has decided to take him on in this year's race for the two-year post.
Robin Noel Redding, 39, of Cranberry, announced Wednesday she wants to make the next race for the 12th district a contest. Mrs. Redding will be the first GOP challenger to do battle with Mr. Metcalfe, also a Republican from Cranberry, since he took office in 1998. In fact, the last time he faced any major party challenge was from Democrat Linda Schoettker six years ago.
Though he has his detractors, his supporters -- nicknamed "Daryl's Army" -- are famous for their devotion to the conservative state representative who initially came to office as a political newcomer following the retirement of longtime representative Pat Carone.
The 12th district encompasses nearly two dozen communities in southern Butler County.
Mrs. Redding, who holds a degree in chemistry and was a research chemist before deciding to become a full-time homemaker and mother of three, made an unsuccessful bid for township supervisor in 2005, losing in the spring primary race. She is active in Republican politics, working on campaigns for an array of candidates, ranging from presidential to township to judicial. She has lived in Cranberry for five years.
She has sent an open letter to Mr. Metcalfe saying she has become disenchanted with him because of his "lack of accomplishments" and his "divisive nature."
She contends he has not kept his promises to reduce the size of government and to reduce taxes.
"The Daryl of ten years ago was not the professional politician of today,'' she wrote to him.
She also said she is sending a letter to "several hundred" local business, elected and civic leaders announcing her candidacy and promising, if elected, to establish a panel made up of a member from every school, municipality, and community organization to set the priorities of the district.
Karen Kane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-772-9180.