2010-10-28 / Front Page

Pa. Governor, U.S. Senator To Be Elected Tues.

Voters to decide important races November 2
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

With the November 2 general election only days away, polls show the gap is narrowing in several hotly contested races, including that of governor and United States senator.

Heading the short, but very important, general election ballot Tuesday are senatorial candidates Joe Sestak and Pat Toomey.

Sestak, well known for his spring defeat of longtime senator Arlen Specter, was first elected to Congress in 2006 to represent his native 7th Congressional District. Since that time, Sestak has earned the distinction of being proclaimed the most productive member in his legislative class.

In addition to his four-year stint in Congress, the Democrat hailing from Delaware County has logged 31 years with the United States Navy, during which he attained the rank of three-star admiral and served in the White House, Pentagon and in various operational commands at sea.

Sestak believes in restoring “hard work, honesty and accountability to Washington, D.C., to address the challenges the nation faces” as well as creating a better country for the next generation. Among his platform issues are making college more affordable; reducing greenhouse gas emissions and stopping global warming; strengthening programs aiding farmers; and restoring fiscal stability to programs that affect senior citizens.

Meanwhile, Toomey, who made Fulton County a pit stop on the campaign trail during the spring, spent three consecutive terms of office between 1999 and 2005 as a member of the 15th Congressional District of the U.S. House of Representatives. Since that time, Toomey, a Republican, has served as the president of the Club for Growth, a “fiscally conservative political action committee committed to raising money for candidates who share the vision of low taxes and limited government.”

Toomey’s educational background includes attending La Salle Academy and Harvard University, where he graduated cum laude with a degree in government. His first career was working in investment banking in New York and Hong Kong. In addition, in the early 1990s, Toomey opened and owned four restaurants in the Allentown and Lancaster areas.

Toomey states he is committed to providing resources such as personnel, training, intelligence and equipment required to support military missions necessary to protecting national security as well as supporting lower marginal income tax rates for all Americans, cutting the tax on capital gains investment and income taxes on businesses.

Under the category of governor and lieutenant governor, Democratic candidates Dan Onorato and H. Scott Conklin of Centre County are battling Republicans Tom Corbett and Jim Cawley.

Onorato attended Penn State University and graduated with a degree in accounting before working as a certified public accountant. Onorato also earned a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Onorato first became involved in public office in 1991 as a member of Pittsburgh’s City Council and was re-elected in 1995. He has also served in the capacity of Allegheny County controller as well as county executive. His new platform for office includes proposing new ideas to reform government, cleaning up Harrisburg, creating new 21st-century jobs, strengthening education and investing in new energy solutions.

Having made “tough decisions” in the capacity of attorney general, Tom Corbett is continuing to publicly promise to make “tough decisions,” only this time on the state’s finances. Pledging to keep taxes at their current rate, Corbett is also vowing to reduce the size and cost of government; create stable jobs; grow the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program; develop Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale resources; and utilize public-private partnerships in transportation.

Since first becoming attorney general in 2004, the former criminal prosecutor from Allegheny County has strived to create several departments, including the Child Predator Unit to capture Internet predators; an Elder Abuse Unit to protect our senior citizens from fraud and abuse; and a Public Corruption Unit to protect citizens from abuse of power and government corruption. He has also waged a war against illegal drugs, gangs and drug trafficking.

The only other race on the ballot next week is for congressional representative of the 9th District. Democrat and former WTAJ general manager Tom Conners will be squaring off against Republican incumbent Bill Shuster. Uncontested races on November 2 include Republican incumbents John H. Eichelberger Jr. for 30th Senatorial District and Dick L. Hess of the 78th General Assembly.

Meanwhile, local residents are fighting to beat the election deadlines, including those set for absentee ballots. According to Fulton County Clerk Dan Swain, a total of 124 absentee ballots have been requested as of Monday afternoon for the November 2 general election. The deadline for requesting a regular absentee ballot was Tuesday, October 26, with ballots needing submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday.

Swain added in the event a registered voter becomes ill or if an unexpected emergency or trip arises, an elector may cast their vote using an emergency absentee ballot.

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