2018-03-08 / Front Page

7 Running In New 13th District Race

6 Republicans, 1 Democrat vie for Shuster’s former 9th District seat

Just two weeks ago Pennsylvania’s top court released the redrawing of the state’s congressional districts that puts Fulton County in the 13th District. In addition to Fulton County, Somerset, Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon, Franklin, Adams, and parts of Westmoreland, Cumberland, and Cambria counties make up the newly drawn 13th District.

To date, six Republicans and one Democrat are running for the seat of retiring Republican Bill Shuster’s seat in the House of Representatives. They are as follows:

1) Candidate: Retired Col. Doug Mastriano of Fayetteville, Franklin County. Republican.

Professional background: Doctorate from the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and four master’s degrees in military operations, strategic intelligence, air power and strategy. Served 30 years in the Army, strolled the Iron Curtain in West Germany during the Cold War, and served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His regiment led the attack against Saddam Hussein’s elite Republican Guards. Additionally, he served four years with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Hot button issues: America first policy, foreign policy, marriage, abortion, protecting the taxpayer, term limits, energy independence, lowering taxes and cutting spending, cutting regulations. For more information, go to www.mastriano4congress.org.

2) Candidate: Travis Schooley, an alpaca farmer and official with Quincy Township, Franklin County. Republican.

Professional background: Joined U.S. Army in 1993 as an intelligence analyst. Left active duty to begin studies at Shippensburg University, graduated in 2000 with a B.S. in environmental studies. Owns and operates a small business raising livestock. Executive Committee of the Franklin County Republican Committee, a member of the Young Republicans of Franklin County, a member of state Sen. Mike Folmer’s Constitutional Organization of Liberty, and a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Hot button issues: pro-life, pro-gun, cutting government costs. For more information, go to Travis Schooley For Congress Facebook Page.

3) Candidate: State Sen. John Eichelberger Jr. of Hollidaysburg, Blair County. Republican.

Professional background: Earned B.A. in political science from the Pennsylvania State University in 1985. Graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. Chair of the Education Committee and Vice Chair of the Banking & Insurance Committee. Serves on the Appropriations, Finance, Judiciary, and Local Government committees. Pennsylvania state senator since 2007.

Hot button issues: government accountability, government fiscal restraint, abortion, 2nd Amendment, Obamacare repeal, border control, school reform, and strengthening of military.

4) Candidate: Art Halvorson, retired Coast Guard captain and real estate entrepreneur from Manns Choice, Bedford County. Republican.

Professional background: Joined the Coast Guard at age 17, served for 29 years. Master’s degree in strategic studies at the U.S. Air War College. MBA from The College of William and Mary. Owns a real estate company.

Hot button issues: securing borders, end amnesty, restore sovereignty, balanced budget amendment, defunding and replacement of Obamacare, defunding of Planned Parenthood, 2nd Amendment gun rights. For more information go to www.votehalvorson.com.

5) Candidate: Ben Hornberger, a ‘political newcomer’ from Shippensburg, Cumberland County. Republican.

Professional background: Served in United States Marine Corps for three years and three months. Assisted with 2016 Trump campaign by knocking on 12,000 doors.

Hot button issues: fiscal responsibility, civil rights including marriage equality, racism, and the use of marijuana, minimum wage, education reform, college affordability, government reform, 2nd Amendment rights, immigration reform, border security, veteran care, national security. For more information go to Hornberger For Congress 2018 Facebook Page.

6) Candidate: Max Merrill, a farmer from Meyersdale, Somerset County. Republican.

Professional Background: attended North Carolina State University, received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the Department of Forestry. Worked for Deptartment of Agriculture in North Carolina. Later attended Vermont Law School. Worked on county, state, and federal agricultural issues. Has experience building and leading stakeholder groups and designing strategies to quickly combat regulatory problems for rural businesses.

Hot button issues: land protection, farming protection. For more information go to Max Merrill for Congress Facebook Page.

7) Candidate: Brent Ottaway, a professor at St. Francis University. Democrat.

Professional background: Graduate of Grove City College. Has been a professor in the Department of English/Communications and Modern Languages at St. Francis since 1990. Has also filled multiple administrative roles, including dean of general education. Served two terms on Hollidaysburg Area School Board, followed by two terms on the Penn-Mont Academy Montessori School Board of Directors.

Ottaway announced his candidacy on March 1. Details are still developing on what issues he plans to address.

March 27 is the last day to circulate and file nomination petitions. Each candidate must collect the minimum of 500 signatures from accurately registered voters to be on the ballot for May 15 primary election.

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