2010-10-21 / Letters

Sestak: Clear Choice For U.S. Senator

To The Editor:

As a veteran (U.S. Army) and retired person who paid into Social Security for more than 50 years, I have some thoughts on the upcoming senatorial election.

When I am evaluating candidates, one of the things I look at is whether or not they served in the military and in what capacity. I also compare candidates on other characteristics (such as experience, age/maturity, leadership, education, birthplace, religion and positions on issues). So, when I found that Joe Sestak had served our country in the military for 31 years, having been promoted to three-star admiral, and that his opponent had not served our country at all, I took notice. Sestak is 10 years younger than I am, but he is 10 years older than his opponent. Sestak was born and raised in Pennsylvania. His opponent was not. Both are Roman Catholic. Sestak graduated second in his class at the Naval Academy. His opponent graduated from Harvard. I don’t really hold going to Harvard against anyone. Joe Sestak holds two advanced degrees (in policy, government and economics) from Harvard. Both have served in the U.S. House of Representatives. My overwhelming impression is that we have an opportunity to elect an extraordinarily well-qualified senator to work for us in Washington, D.C.

I am also concerned about several issues, including ensuring that the Social Security and Medicare systems are reformed and sustained, as Joe Sestak advocates (rather than cutting or abolishing these programs). When I talked with Joe Sestak in McConnellsburg a few months ago, I found him to be thoughtful and independent-minded – neither a “rubber stamp” nor a reflexive opponent of progress.

I urge everyone to vote. Evaluate each candidate on his or her merits. In the race for senator, I think the clear choice, based on substance, maturity and service, is Joe Sestak.

Joe Erwin Needmore, Pa.

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