Hannas announce plans for 2018

State representative retiring

Michael K. Hanna Sr.



LOCK HAVEN — It seems like only yesterday that a young local attorney made it known he wanted to move from his law office on Water Street into the world of state government in Harrisburg.

He talked with friends and family and members of the Clinton County’s Democratic party about his desires, and the stage was set.

It was 1990 and Michael K. Hanna Sr.’s name was on the ballot.

He was running for state representative of the 76th Legislative District, representing Clinton and Centre counties.

The hometown boy won his first two-year term that year, and 13 more after that.

His rather plain, dark blue and white campaign signs dotted the streets and highways throughout the area every two years. The morning after each victorious election, the words “Thank You” were attached to those signs, obviously an indication of Hanna’s gratitude for the support of his constituents.

As his work as a lawmaker continued and his years in the Capitol accumulated, there was talk around town that Mike’s son, Mike Jr., was also interested in politics and in fact was working in Harrisburg, being groomed to perhaps take his father’s place when the elder Hanna decided to retire.

And that’s exactly what is happening now.

State Rep. Mike Hanna, Democratic whip and second-ranking member in the House Democratic Caucus, announced Monday he won’t seek re-election to a 15th term.

And his son, Mike Hanna Jr., announced Sunday that he is seeking the seat held for almost three decades by his father.

The decision made by the 27-year veteran of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was not one that came easily.

“After considerable deliberation, I have decided that the time has come to spend more time with my family, travel with my wife and enjoy the great outdoors,” Hanna said.

“This is what is best for my family at this time and it is my hope, upon retirement, to be able to explore other avenues for which I am passionate,” he said in a prepared release.

Those other avenues will undoubtedly include supporting his son in his quest to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Hanna was elected by his colleagues to serve four terms as Democratic whip. As whip, he assisted party leaders in coordinating the caucus in its responses to critical legislation.

For the past 27 years, Hanna has worked with both Republican and Democratic governors. He fought for economic development and commonsense solutions to issues affecting the 76th Legislative District and all of Pennsylvania. He has spent countless hours focusing on sound fiscal policies, government reform efforts, quality educational opportunities for every child and sportsmen issues, to name a few.

Hanna spearheaded and authored policies such as Pennsylvania’s Dog Law, food safety, retirement security efforts for hard-working Pennsylvanians, legislation marking the Piper J3 Cub as Pennsylvania’s official aircraft, recycling incentives, raising the minimum wage efforts, biosolid issues, deer management issues. He has worked hard to bring hundreds of thousands of dollars back to Clinton and Centre counties to reinvest and boost the local economy.

“My experience as a state representative has been nothing short of humbling,” Hanna said. “It has been a great privilege and honor to serve all of my constituents in Harrisburg and a responsibility that I have never once taken lightly. I hope to be remembered as someone who stood up for my morals and beliefs, even if it was a tough vote to make.”

Hanna is a graduate of Lock Haven High School and Lock Haven University and earned his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

He serves on the Board of Governors for the state’s 14-university State System of Higher Education and is a past member of the board of directors of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

Previously, Hanna served as chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and also served on the House Game and Fisheries Committee. During the 2011-12 session, Hanna was elected to the House leadership team as minority whip and will retire holding the same position.

Hanna will continue serving residents of the 76th Legislative District through Nov. 30, the date the legislative term ends.