The winner of this democratic Primary race on Tuesday will go on the November ballot against republican Janet Anderson to see who will replace Jane Earll who has held the seat for 16 years.
Here's more on John Harkins.
John Harkins has served as an Erie School Board Director for nearly 40 years.
"During that period of time, I've seen a lot of difficulty with Harrisburg funding us and meeting its responsibility to fund public education," said Harkins (D) Candidate for PA Senate 49th District.
Harkins says 2 years ago the Erie School District has lost $18 million due to state budget cuts.
He and his fellow school board directors have since struggled to fight back from a multi-million dollar deficit.
It's this "neglect" in Harrisburg, as he calls it, that made him want to run for the state Senate so he can be a voice to push back.
Harkins says, "a kid gets one shot at an education and we made a difference in a positive way for kids in the 10 years here in Erie, and suddenly that's all at risk. And we're forced to make decisions under pressure we shouldn't have to make them under that could have long term negative consequences for taxpayers and students."
When you head to the polls to vote on Tuesday, you will have four choices for the democratic nomination for the state's 49th Senatorial seat. Harkins explains why you should choose him.
"If you agree with what I'm saying, that's what I want to push back against and hopefully across the state there are other people rising up to express the same feelings and we can make a shift back to prioritizing education in the commonwealth."
Friday night, we will hear from the 2 republican candidates for the state's 3rd district House of Representatives, Jason Owen and Regina Smith.
The winner of that race will likely face democrat Ryan Bizzarro in November to see who will fill the seat being vacated by John Hornaman.