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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Pennsylvania US House District 12

Description of office: Congress, the legislative branch of the federal government, is composed of two houses. The upper house is the Senate. The lower house is the House of Representatives. A majority vote in both houses is necessary to pass a law. All bills must pass the House and Senate and be signed by the President. The U.S. Constitution requires that the House of Representatives be composed of elected Representatives (also called Congressmen and Congresswomen) from each State. There are 435 members of the House of Representatives. The number of Representatives from each state is proportioned according to its population, with 18 Representatives from Pennsylvania. A U.S. Representative must be at least 25 years old, have been a citizen of the United States for the past seven years, and be an inhabitant of the state they represent at the time of the election. The House of Representatives is responsible for creating the budget and initiating bills to collect taxes and other money. The House is also responsible for impeaching federal officials (the Senate then tries the case) and electing the President if there is a tie in the Electoral College.Term: 2 yearsSalary: $174,000Vote for ONE.

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  • Candidate picture

    Lee Griffin
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Fred Keller
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Liz Terwilliger (Write-in)
    (L)

Biographical Information

What would be your top priorities as a U.S. Representative over the next two years?

The landmark Shelby v. Holder decision overturned protections in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that required certain states and local governments to obtain federal preclearance before implementing voting laws or practices. Since then, the U.S. has experienced a surge of legislation that makes it more difficult for many people to vote. What voting reforms do you see as essential to making U.S. elections accessible and secure?

How would you go about finding consensus and reducing gridlock in Washington, D.C.?

County Northumberland
Education Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy from IUP
Qualifications 8 years of business management experience in warehousing and distribution, leading hundreds of employees, negotiating multi-million dollar contracts with national package carriers and overseeing a multi-million dollar annual budget.
My top priority would be working to ensure a strong recovery from the coronavirus outbreak for everyone. Our recovery will take some time, and the federal government needs to be there to support small business, farms and workers as we rebuild our economy.

Another top priority of mine is health care. Too many families can’t afford the cost of treatment or medication they need. We need to bring down the costs of medications and treatments and ensure that everyone has coverage.

Additionally, climate change needs to be addressed with green energy, cutting carbon emissions and carbon capture initiatives. We need to act swiftly and decisively to prevent the worst effects from happening and ensure a brighter future for us all.
The right to vote is an essential part of our country’s foundation, and it should not be infringed upon. Voting should be celebrated, encouraged and made simple for voters. Groups like Fair Fight do great work to ensure voting rights are protected. Pennsylvania has set a strong example with Act 77, with improvements to the process that include voting from home and funding for counties to upgrade their voting systems. The federal government should provide funding to states to follow Pennsylvania’s lead to make upgrades to their systems and ensure there are enough voting machines and poll workers at each polling place. The federal government should also strengthen the Voting Rights Act and work to improve access to voting across the nation.
Building consensus is about setting aside differences, focusing on shared goals and genuinely valuing the perspective of those you disagree with. Debate is healthy, and engaging with differing points of view makes us better. I would make it a point to build relationships with representatives from across the aisle and seek their input on issues to develop mutual respect. Unfortunately, money can also be a barrier to building that consensus. I would vote to protect our elections and lawmaking process from the influence of powerful special interests. I also support overturning the Citizens United decision as an important measure. We need representatives who are willing to work across party lines to serve the people and not special interests.
County Snyder County
Education Shikellamy High School
Qualifications 25 years in wood products manufacturing, including as Manager of Conestoga Wood Specialties' Beavertown factory overseeing $50 million budget and 250 employees. Started a successful small business in residential construction and management. 8 and a half years as state rep in the PA General Assembly.
My top priorities are the top priorities of the people of Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, including combatting the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; helping our small businesses and workers keep more of their money by lowering taxes and reducing excessive government regulation; supporting regional infrastructure projects like the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway and the I-99 corridor project while expanding rural broadband access to support tele-health, education, and commerce; and providing relief for our nation’s farmers.
The 15h Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude,” and the 19th Amendment protects the voting rights of all sexes. As a member of Congress, I will protect these important Constitutional rights while making every effort to combat voter fraud and uphold the integrity of our elections.
We have already had success in working stakeholders and members of both parties to pass legislation that benefits the people of PA-12. For instance, we introduced and passed with bipartisan support language to the Older Americans Act strengthening health care protections for seniors by adding fall-related traumatic brain injuries to the list of conditions covered by the law. We worked with The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators, health care providers across PA-12, and members of Congress from both parties to find consensus. We also drafted and introduced with bipartisan support legislation to stop the Bureau of Prisons from moving inmates during the pandemic to protect the health and safety of the PA-12 residents.
County Bradford
Education I earned my Associates Degree (AS) at Corning Community College in 1991, my Bachelors (BS) in Speech Language Pathology & Audiology at Ball State University in 1994 and my Master's Degree (MA) in Communication Disorders-Speech Language Pathology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, in 1997.
Qualifications We need leaders who bring us together, listen to diverse voices and lead us forward. I’ve used those skills for 17 years in homes of families across 6 PA counties. We come together, listen to with respect and move forward to help their child grow. I have the experience needed to lead us forward.
My priority would be to shift power from politicians back to the people. To that end I would work for term limits, input from more diverse voices and single issue legislation. Term limits would balance representation across districts and create opportunities for more diverse representation. I would work to bring more voices, more perspectives, to political debates. We need to hear from more than just those in power to solve complex problems for all people. To bring in more voices, I would work to make legislation more accessible. Single issue legislation would make it easier for everyone to know what is in a bill. With term limits, more diversity and more accessibility I believe we can shift power back to the people.
I believe the Federal Government has a responsibility to protect the voting rights of every American citizen. That responsibility is embodied in the 14th Amendment, which states that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” If elected I would work to protect our election system from outside interference and to protect the rights of every citizen to vote. While I agree that we need to protect our election system from fraud, I believe that we need to encourage people to vote, not pass restrictions that make it harder. If elected, I would work to increase engagement in politics, to encourage every eligible voter to participate.
I’ve spent my career building consensus in challenging situations, helping families find common ground and a path forward. I would bring those skills to Washington. As an outsider, I wouldn’t carry baggage of partisan rancor, which would help me be a mediator. I propose single issue legislation to reduce gridlock. In the recent criminal justice reform attempt, each party proposed a package that the other party wouldn’t support. Both said they were trying to do something but the other side was obstructing. Meanwhile nothing got done. I would propose one reform at a time, for example a national ban on choke holds. It would be more transparent and accessible to the public, who could then hold their representative accountable.