Scott Martin addresses the crowd before Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, spoke at the Host Resort in Lancaster, Pa., August 9, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Lancaster PA
Scott Martin addresses the crowd before Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, spoke at the Host Resort in Lancaster, Pa., August 9, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The state senator from Lancaster County joins an already crowded field of GOP candidates.

HARRISBURG — A Republican state senator from south central Pennsylvania said that he will run for governor, adding to the GOP’s double-digits-deep primary field aiming to take on the presumed Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in next year’s election.

Sen. Scott Martin, of Lancaster County, announced it in a video on his campaign website and Facebook page. He becomes the second Republican state senator in a field that is roughly a dozen deep and likely to grow.

Martin, 49, a former county commissioner, was first elected in 2016, and is the Senate’s Education Committee chair.

In his video messages, he leans heavily on his experience as a county commissioner — the challenges of balancing budgets and improving services — and working to become successful as a wrestler and football player in high school and college.

He also attacks what he says are holding Pennsylvanians back: government insiders, special interests, profit-hungry businesses, media, tech companies, health care costs, and schools that “ignore parents and fail to meet the needs of kids year after year.”

“Getting Pennsylvania back on the right path means focusing on people and the things that make their lives better, not grandiose plans that sound good but never happen,” Martin said. “That’s why I’m running for governor.”

Martin is relatively unknown statewide. However, he has the advantage of being from a growing county that has the fourth-most registered Republicans in the state.

Gov. Tom Wolf, a second-term Democrat, is constitutionally restricted from serving a third term. He has endorsed Shapiro, who is serving his second term as the state’s elected attorney general.

In the Senate, Martin has provided a reliable vote for Republican leadership on fiscal matters, pandemic-related legislation, and hot-button issues like abortion, guns, and elections.