Salary: $90,300Special Election for the 48th District of the Pennsylvania State Senate, which includes all of Lebanon County, part of Dauphin County, and part of York County.This general election will fill the seat vacated when Mike Folmer resigned on September 18, 2019.The winner of this election will serve until 2022.The Pennsylvania Senate is the upper house of our bicameral (two house legislature). There are 50 members who sit for four-year terms. Senators must be at least 25 years old, have been citizens and lived in their respective districts one year next before their election and must live in their districts during their terms of service. Members of the Pennsylvania Senate are, along with the House of Representatives, responsible for passing legislation that affects all aspects of our lives.
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I am running to represent you in the Pennsylvania State Senate because I am passionate about public service. I've helped thousands of crime victims over the past 14 years and I look forward to helping all residents of the 48th as their next State Senator. My experience and commitment to public service make it abundantly clear that I am the most qualified candidate for the Senate. I am a consistent conservative who has 14 years of experience operating a government agency in the district attorney’s office. My opponent and I share stark differences of opinion on many issues.
The founders clearly intended for Congressional reapportionment to be a political process when they gave it to the State Legislatures. PA already has a Commission for Legislative Redistricting. That said, I am for making government as open and transparent as possible for our citizens and will carefully consider all proposals to make changes in our current system.
Some key issues I intend to address immediately include public safety, specifically crime prevention, property tax reform and ensuring a quality public education that prepares our students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
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At 61 years of age, my life experiences as a college history professor, local community and environmental advocate, and skilled manual laborer have prepared me well for this position. I know how to work with my head and my hands; how to solve problems; how to relate well with people of diverse cultural backgrounds and from all walks of life; how to work hard in pursuit of a worthwhile goal; and how to get things done. I am sensible, reasonable, and have a core set of values and beliefs rooted in fairness, compassion, and integrity. I have no ties to big-money lobbyists; no political debts to pay; and my wife and I are financially secure. My only interest in seeking this state Senate seat is to have the opportunity to serve the public good and the best interests of all my constituents to the very best of my ability. I am not looking for a new career, and if elected, pledge to serve no more than two full terms in the state Senate.
I strongly support a constitutional amendment establishing a non-partisan independent citizens’ redistricting commission, as evidenced by my participation in the Fair Districts PA competition earlier this year, in which our group (the “Lebanon Six”) was awarded Honorable Mention for the Central PA – Adult category for our redistricting map. I believe that our current partisan system of redistricting, which has led PA to have some of the most severely gerrymandered districts in the country, profoundly subverts the foundational promise of our democratic republic. Partisan gerrymandering must be replaced by a much fairer system of redistricting, and the best way to do that is through a constitutional amendment. As it stands, our current system basically lets politicians choose their voters. This isn’t fair, it isn’t right, and it must be changed. Genuine democracy means that voters get to choose their politicians, not the other way around.
1. Ensuring access to affordable, high-quality health care for all taxpaying citizens, including strengthening Medicaid so that our most vulnerable citizens have access to health care; creating an optional public health insurance plan as a competitive alternative to private insurance plans; and expanding statewide investment in social services and public health initiatives that improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable populations. I also believe that prescription drugs must be made more affordable for PA families.
2. Transitioning away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy economy in ways that benefit PA working families. Doing so has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of good-paying, family-supporting jobs.
3. Increasing state funding for education at all levels: pre-K, K-12, higher ed, and vocational and technical training. History clearly demonstrates that societies that invest heavily in public education reap benefits that ripple through the generations.