Democrat attempts bid in 12th District
CRANBERRY TWP — Lisa Zucco’s daughter taught her a valuable lesson in community service when the 10-year-old decided against gifts for her birthday and instead asked for money to be donated to a new park in the township.
That kind of selflessness inspired Zucco, 44, to begin a campaign that, if successful, would land her in Harrisburg as the representative of the 12th District, a seat held by Republican Daryl Metcalfe.
Zucco said Monday that she plans on running as a Democrat as long as she can get the required number of signatures needed to get her name on the May 20 primary ballot. She would be the first Democrat for that seat.
Zucco, a technical writer for an architecture and engineering firm in Seven Fields, said she’s lived in Cranberry Township for more than eight years with her husband and two children.
The key motivation behind her run for office came last year when her daughter, Bella, asked friends and family to donate to the new Kids Castle playground being built.
“I thought it was remarkable that a 10-year-old could grasp the concept of public service while so many politicians can’t,” she said.
That specific example provided a “shining example” to Zucco of what’s possible when people come together for the betterment of the community.
Zucco, who previously lived in Adams Township for seven years, said she’s lived in the district for as long as Metcalfe has been in office and understands he can be a polarizing figure.
Zucco said she will focus on getting her name on the ballot for now.
Then, she said, “I’m going to take my message to the voters and run on my own merits.”
Perhaps the most important issue for Zucco is one she faces on a daily basis: the traffic jams on routes 19 and 228.
Zucco said it’s only several miles from her home in Cranberry to her job in Seven Fields, but it is a trip that can sometimes take upward of 30 minutes.
“We need to make sure we’re funding transportation,” she said. “People of the 12th District don’t care about some politician’s viewpoint. They care about sitting at red lights in traffic with gas at $4 a gallon.”
In addition, Zucco said she wants to restore education funding levels that were cut when Gov. Tom Corbett came in to office.
For now, Zucco and her daughter are traveling around the district compiling signatures.
“Right now I’m just focusing on the petition drive,” she said. “But I’m energized and excited.”
The 12th District covers Adams, Clinton, Cranberry, Forward, Middlesex and Penn townships as well as Callery, Mars, Seven Fields and Valencia.