Former Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson said her experiences in the cash-strapped state capital have prepared her for the U.S. House of Representatives, and she wants to prove herself in the national arena.

The Democrat recently announced a run against first-term incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Perry from Dillsburg, representing the 4th Congressional District.

"I have a very impressive track record as a councilwoman and as a mayor and that track record speaks for itself," she said. "The work I did saved the region and benefitted a lot of people in Pennsylvania."

Thompson on Monday declined to issue policy positions, saying she wants to first focus on gathering the 1,000 signatures she needs to collect by March 11 to appear on the ballot for the Democratic primary. She's the only Democrat to announce candidacy.

But she said she's motivated and wants to do good things for the 4th.

"That's exactly what I did for Harrisburg," she said. "I got things done...I know how to reach across party lines and get things done."

Perry said he welcomes the competition, and he'll let the voters decide the better candidate.

The campaigns will be a good opportunity to highlight the differences between their philosophies and records of achievement, he said.

The district includes all of York and Adams counties and parts of Dauphin and Cumberland counties. It leans Republican, with about 209,000 registered Republican voters, about 166,000 registered Democrats and about 66,000 others, according to figures from the state elections bureau.

The last Democrat elected in the district left office in 1967.

— Reach Christina Kauffman at