2014-01-23 / Front Page

Special Election Tuesday

Topper, Barron vie to fill Rep. Hess’s seat in 78th District
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Registered voters here and across the 78th Legislative District will be heading to the polls this Tuesday to determine who will fill out the remaining 11- month term of office previously held by longtime state representative the late Dick L. Hess.

Republican Jesse Topper and Democratic challenger Barbara Barbara Barron Barron will square off on January 28 as part of a special election to name Hess’s replacement.

Both residents of neighboring Bedford County, Topper Jesse Topper was selected to represent the Republican Party by 20 designated conferees representing Fulton, Bedford and Huntingdon counties in mid-November. Approximately one month later, Barron was hand-selected by the state Democratic executive committee to appear on Tuesday’s ballot.

Topper, who currently serves as a Bedford County state committeeperson, beat out seven other Republican candidates for the party’s nomination. Among those showing interest at the time were Brian W. Speck of Bedford, Christine Hershberger Ebersole of Martinsburg, Dana Troutman of Hopewell, Howard E. Weightman of Rainsburg, Josh Lang of Everett, Michael J. Herline of Bedford, and Samuel C. Cottle of Everett.

Lang has already announced his intention to seek a more permanent position with the state House and is seeking the party’s nomination during the upcoming May spring primary. Others will likely follow suit with election announcements in the following months.

In the meantime, the 32-yearold Topper is employed by the Bedford United Methodist Church as an executive minister. The Bedford man also currently serves on the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as a second vice president as well as the commonwealth’s Board of Nursing and has served as a football coach, on the Bedford Borough Council and the Bedford Area School District’s Board of Health and Fitness.

“I would consider it an honor and a privilege to serve the District in this capacity and to represent the interests of the hardworking taxpayers of our area,” said Topper, in a previous press release.

Barron of Everett is a longtime educator and touts the field of education as being one of her main concerns heading into the special election Tuesday. She spoke with the “News” last week while travelling around the county meeting with local officials and residents.

Barron reportedly got her start in 1974 and retired from the Everett School District where she served as elementary principal for 33 years. In 2007, she accepted the position of Everett site coordinator for the Bedford County After School Program.

In addition to a bachelor’s de- gree from Shippensburg University in elementary education, Barron also a master’s degree in library science.

Even though she has no political experience to speak off, on a professional level, Barron is currently a member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees and the National Education Association. Over the years she has also been active with the Boy Scouts of America as well as the Everett Parent-Teacher Association.

She resides with her husband, Jay, their sons, Joseph and Jeffrey, and her niece and nephew, Nicolle and Troy.

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