A retired educator is seeking the Republican nomination for the 101st legislative district, replacing outgoing state representative Frank Ryan.

John Schlegel, 67, of Cornwall, told LebTown he is running “to ensure that the 101st district continues to have a strong conservative voice in the state House of Representatives.”

Ryan announced earlier this year he will not seek re-election to a fourth term.

Catherine “Cavi” Miller, also of Cornwall, is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination for the same seat. Presumably, she and Schlegel will face each other in the general election in November.

After redistricting, the 101st House district includes Lebanon City, Cornwall Borough, and North Cornwall, North Lebanon, South Lebanon, West Cornwall, West Lebanon townships.

“Public service has always been the primary emphasis of my work, whether as an educator, coach, or community volunteer,” Schlegel said in an email to LebTown. “My view is that public service and the opportunity to represent my neighbors in the legislature would be an honor and extension of my lifetime contributions to our local area. I want to have a positive impact on the lives of others. I will work with lawmakers for the betterment of the commonwealth.”

Schlegel said in a press release that he hopes to carry on Frank Ryan’s legacy as “a passionate voice for the rights of the unborn, our 2nd Amendment, and our freedom.”


Schlegel has been an administrator in both the Lebanon and Cornwall-Lebanon school districts, and he said he is “very familiar with the communities that are served by the 101st State House District.” He has also worked to help elect Republicans to public office, he added.

Schlegel graduated from Kutztown University, then took a job as a social studies teacher and coach at Northern Lebanon High School. He later served as an administrator at Lebanon and Palmyra high schools, and for 10 years as director of secondary education in Cornwall-Lebanon School District.

He earned a master’s degree in counselor education at Millersville University in 1982 and a doctoral degree at Temple University in 2000. He contributed to a textbook on ethical leadership that is used at Penn State University.

He is a volunteer with the Lebanon division of the American Heart Association, the Lebanon County Christian Ministries Noon Meal Program, the county’s Communities That Care Committee, Lebanon County Community Health Council and HACC’s Lebanon Campus Education Committee. He chaired the 2017 Heart Ball with his wife, Ruth Ann, as well as his church’s Administrative Council and Staff Parish Relations Committee. He was a coach in Cornwall’s youth athletic program.

Schlegel has lived in the 101 State House District for 42 years. He and his wife have been married for 41 years, are the parents of two sons and have five grandchildren.


“I stand for limited government, fiscal responsibility, and following our national and state constitutions as written,” Schlegel said. He noted he is pro-First Amendment, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-life. “It is important to carry on with the work to safeguard that the values of the hardworking patriotic people of the 101st District are represented in Harrisburg.”

Locally, he said, “I believe the people of the 101st District want a representative that will listen to their concerns, work with them, and stand for them in Harrisburg. My commitment is to be visible and accessible to all constituents.”

He also wants to see both the Republican and Democratic parties put aside the acrimony that has divided them in recent years.

“It is important that we put partisan politics aside and work together to seek solutions in the best interests of the people,” he said.

Personally, Schlegel said, “I have the leadership skills and desire to work effectively with people both within the 101st District as well as in Harrisburg. The

people of the 101st want their representative to be willing to listen treating everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

Schlegel is confident that recent changes to the state’s district maps won’t hurt Republican chances at the polls.

“Enthusiasm and energy are firmly behind the Republican Party in Pennsylvania and the nation,” he said. “I believe that Republicans will retain control of majorities in the state legislature and I look forward to being part of that success.”

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Tom has been a professional journalist for nearly four decades. In his spare time, he plays fiddle with the Irish band Fire in the Glen, and he reviews music, books and movies for Rambles.NET. He lives with his wife, Michelle, and has four children: Vinnie, Molly, Annabelle and Wolf.