LNP to hold Pa. Senate forum between Sen. Scott Martin and Janet Diaz

Republican state Sen. Scott Martin is seeking a second four-year term and faces Democratic nominee Janet Diaz in the Nov. 3, 2020, election.

LNP Media Group will hold a forum for candidates in Pennsylvania’s 13th Senate District, one of the most closely watched legislative races statewide, on Thursday.

The event will be livestreamed on LancasterOnline beginning at 6:30 p.m. and recorded for viewing anytime afterward.

Republican state Sen. Scott Martin is seeking a second four-year term and faces Democratic nominee Janet Diaz in the Nov. 3 election. The district stretches from the city and its suburbs to the Maryland line.

Half of the 50-member Senate is up for election this fall, and Democrats are going all-in trying to flip four seats in a bid to take control of the General Assembly and the process of redrawing the state’s legislative and congressional districts in 2021.

Martin, 48, of Martic Township, is a former Lancaster County commissioner who is focusing his attention on the state's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminal justice from Millersville University.

Diaz, 54, of Lancaster city, is a stroke registrar for Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health whose campaign has prioritized health care and is proposing maximum caps for prescriptions and a basic health care plan accessible to all state residents. Diaz is a member of Lancaster city council.


What do you want the candidates for the Senate to be discussing as they campaign for votes?

Tell us here: LancasterOnline.com/site/forms/election2020


Though Democrats have identified the 13th district as being in play, Republicans hold a 7-percentage-point voter registration edge there, according to Department of State data. That amounts to nearly 12,000 more voters.

The district represents Lancaster city; the townships of Bart, Colerain, Conestoga, Drumore, East Drumore, East Lampeter, Eden, Fulton, Lancaster, Leacock, Little Britain, Manheim, Manor, Martic, Paradise, Pequea, Providence, Sadsbury, Salisbury, Strasburg, Upper Leacock and West Lampeter; and the boroughs of Christiana, Millersville, Quarryville and Strasburg.

Republicans account for 76,796 or 45% of the 170,688 registered voters in the 13th. Democrats account for 65,003 or 38% of the electorate. Another 28,889 voters, or 17%, are not affiliated with either major party.

Voters in the precincts that make up the 13th Senate district voted for Republican Donald Trump over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 6 points. But Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, both Democrats, won it by similar margins in 2018.

Also in that midterm election, Democratic congressional candidate Jess King outperformed incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker in the Senate district’s precincts by 88 votes.

At the LNP forum, Martin and Diaz will answer questions from a panel of four journalists. The journalists are Gillian McGoldrick, a reporter who covers state and federal government for LNP|LancasterOnline; Enelly Betancourt, a reporter for LNP|LancasterOnline and La Voz; Russ Walker, the investigations and enterprise editor for LNP|LancasterOnline and managing editor or The Caucus, a publication of LNP Media Group; and Phil Gruber, a reporter for Lancaster Farming, an LNP Media Group publication and the premier source of agriculture news in the mid-Atlantic region.

Watch the livestream below.


What do you want the candidates for the Senate to be discussing as they campaign for votes?

Tell us here: LancasterOnline.com/site/forms/election2020