Reading Anthracite President Brian Rich announced recently his intention to bring private-sector leadership and job-creation experience to the state Senate.

"There are too many career politicians in Harrisburg with no fiscal discipline and no understanding of how to create jobs," Rich said. "Unfortunately, a number of them are experts at spending money, raising taxes, and furthering their own interests. We need leadership in Harrisburg to turn Pennsylvania around."

Born and raised in Schuylkill County, Rich is a graduate of Pottsville Area High School and Boston University.

Since graduating from college in 1983, he has worked in the family business, which under Rich's leadership has grown substantively.

During Rich's 29-year career in the energy industry, he was instrumental in the construction of two power plants, Gilberton Power and Schuylkill Energy Resources, as well as numerous other energy related projects.

Serving as president of Jack Rich, Inc., Keller Oil and Lehigh Fuels for the past 25 years, he has acquired and expanded the oil business to extend from Schuylkill County to Allentown, Lehigh County.

Rich also was instrumental in the acquisition of Reading Anthracite Company in 1991. He has expanded Reading Anthracite Company from a regional anthracite producer to a supplier to emerging global markets, has modernized mining techniques and expanded employment. He is a founding partner of Lehigh Engineering, located in Pottsville and Walnutport.

In the last 29 years, Rich has helped create an additional 450 direct jobs in Schuylkill County and his family businesses employs over 620 individuals. He has also created hundreds of indirect jobs as the prime developer of Coal Creek Commerce Center in St. Clair, where he built Walmart, Tractor Supply, and Home Depot. He served on Leesport Financial's board, served on the board of Premier Bank, now Fulton Financial, and currently serves on the board of Monument Bank. His labor management experience, his environmental stewardship, and his financial experience as a director on various bank boards qualifies him to address the personnel, environmental and financial needs of our community.

Rich served on the Boy Scouts Hawk Mountain Council, the Pottsville Hospital and Warne Clinic board, and was former chairman of the Pennsylvania Anthracite Council. He resides in Orwigsburg with his wife Valerie and his children, Elle, attending the College of Charleston; Brian, attending Bloomsburg University; and William, Lauren and Jack, all attending Blue Mountain School District.

Rich pledges to serve the people and the community that has worked with him so well, to serve a maximum of two terms if elected, to not accept a state pension, and to uphold the core conservative principles at the heart of the Republican Party.