Kasunic to retire from Senate 32

Published by Karen Langley on .


State Sen. Richard Kasunic, D-Dunbar, announced Thursday he will retire in November from a 32-year career in the General Assembly.

Kasunic, 67, was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1982 and the Senate in 1994.

He represents Fayette and parts of Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties, and also serves as chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Senate District 32 is conservative territory for a Democrat: In 2012, Mitt Romney won Fayette with 53.6 percent, Somerset with 70.6 percent, Washington with 56.1 percent and Westmoreland with 61.2 percent.

In a statement announcing his decision, Kasunic named procuring funding to construct the Mon-Fayette Expressway in Fayette County and to expand State Route 219 in Somerset County as among his top legislative accomplishments.

He also cited authoring a state law on coal mine safety.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to represent the fine people of our area over the past three-plus decades," he said. "This decision was honestly not an easy one, but after much soul-searching I decided that it is time to devote myself to spending quality time with my friends and, more importantly, my family, in this next chapter of my life.

Kasunic is among a number of state senators who have said they will not seek another term. Sen. Jim Ferlo, the Highland Park Democrat and former city councilman, cited redistricting when he made his announcement in November.

Others include Sen. Mike Brubaker, R-Lancaster, Sen. Bob Robbins, R-Mercer, and Sen. Ted Erickson, E-Delaware.

Sen. Mike Waugh, R-York, resigned in January to become executive director of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. His departure left the chamber with 26 Republicans and 23 Democrats.

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