Our LOCAL Candidates
United States Congress
John Emmons is respected in business, dedicated to his family and community, and driven by a desire to give back.
Recruited out of college, John Emmons started as a chemical engineer with Armstrong World Industries and rapidly rose to become a plant manager in the company, running one of the focused business units at the Armstrong facility in Lancaster. Following his career at Armstrong, he spent the next 16 years serving as director of operations for Mannington Mills in Salem, NJ. Since 2015, John has held the role of director of operations for Interface Performance Materials/Lydall based in Lancaster, PA. In these roles John has managed hundreds of employees in multiple states and around the world, balancing budgets, meeting critical deadlines, solving problems, and continually improving outcomes.
In 2007, dismayed by what he saw as a lack of fiscal responsibility in Washington and a wrong direction for the country, Emmons became active in politics, fearlessly calling out both parties for their unwillingness to stand for the principles of our nation’s founding. He founded activist coalitions, served in party leadership, and volunteered for campaigns of candidates he believed in.
But throughout his career and his time in politics, John Emmons has lived in accordance with the principles he learned growing up on a small farm. His father worked in a factory and later became a rural letter carrier. After he and his siblings were old enough, his mother went back into the work force as a school teacher. His grandmother was the postmaster in the small town and owned the town’s small general store. And at the end of each day, there was always work for all still to be done tending the farm animals and managing the day-to-day operations of the farm.
At the age of 10, John started mowing lawns. By the age of 14, he had a summer job working 48 hours a week on a neighbor’s farm in addition to mowing lawns, and, of course, working on the family farm to keep it operating. Everything he had, he earned.
John excelled at school, finishing near the top of his class. He played high school sports – football, basketball, and baseball – helping to win league championships in football and baseball his senior year. He then went on to study chemical engineering at SUNY/Buffalo graduating with cum laude honors.
John and his wife Alison raised three children and today live a life that echoes their values: Faith, commitment to community, service as a Deacon at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, responsible stewardship of the environment, and a deep love for the opportunities that have made America the beacon of hope for the world.
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Wendy Graham Leland
PA State Representative - District 167
Wendy began her service to our nation in 1980 when she enlisted in the Army Reserves as a 17 year old senior in high school. After Basic Combat Training, she attended Indiana University of PA where she majored in Pre-Law/Political Science with concentrations in English and Military Science. She was commissioned in 1982 and served in many command and staff capacities throughout her 32-year career in the Guard and Reserves, culminating at the Pentagon and her retirement as a Colonel in 2012. While at the Pentagon, she was the Chief of the Army’s response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Colonel Leland commanded the first National Guard unit mobilized and deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom after the attacks on America on 11 September 2001.
As a civilian, she worked on Capitol Hill on the House Armed Services Committee as one of three staffers for the ranking republican. Wendy then worked for two Washington, DC firms first supporting the Navy and then the National Reconnaissance Office until she moved to Charlestown in 1996 following the birth of her second daughter.
Shortly after moving to Malvern, Wendy joined the Charlestown Planning Commission where she still serves, as well as serving on the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee, attending many municipal and Great Valley School District events representing Charlestown Township. She served for several years on the Historical & Architecture Review Board. Wendy has been the Judge of Elections for Charlestown Township, the second largest precinct in Chester County, for the past six years.
An active member at her church, Wendy has gone on several mission trips, teaches Vacation Bible School each summer, and is a member of the Preschool In The Valley school board. Together with her family, she volunteers much of her time maintaining her 350-year old historic church as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Wendy has seen an ever-increasing trend in our society in which common courtesy and civility are becoming things of the past, and is proud to be a certified instructor teaching young Americans the importance of respect and duty. Since 2015, Wendy has traveled the nation instructing students on social intelligence skills with JDW Social Education Programs headquartered in Denver. This nationally recognized authority in social skills education believes that these skills empower students to feel comfortable with themselves and others, to communicate more effectively, and to set a leadership example in school, work opportunities, or any social situation, promoting personal growth, confidence and character.
Service to America runs strong in her family. The daughter of a firefighter and mother of four children, Wendy was the Girl Scout Leader for all three of her daughters and involved in all of her children’s activities as they were growing. Lexie lives in Virginia where she works for the Department of Homeland Security and she and her fiancé are firefighters. Tori is an active duty Army Second Lieutenant paratrooper stationed in Alaska. Christy is a student in Texas where she studies fitness and nutrition. Chip is a sophomore at Temple majoring in business and physics. Her husband is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and her brother is an active duty Army Major General in the US Army Corps of Engineers as the Deputy I Corps Commander.
Wendy has run 12 full marathons and is currently training for her 13th in Bagan, Myanmar in November and can be found training on the Chester Valley Trail or hiking with her rescue dogs Max & JT along the Pickering Creek.
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