The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 26, 2010

STREET TALK: 23-year-old candidate enters 107th race

A 23-year-old Coal Township resident and businessman, Michael "Lance" Engle, has announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for the 107th state House seat in southeastern Northumberland County and Montour County.

"I am vying for the opportunity to represent this great community," Engle said. "Our local community deserves to have exceptional representation, and I would like to give the people a candidate they can believe in."

Engle, 23, is the second Republican candidate to enter the race. Northumberland County Commissioner Kurt Masser is also seeking the GOP nomination.

Engle works with a local title company Madison Settlements, and has been an entrepreneur from a young age, working construction, starting a custom computer company and having a hand in developing a bottled water company.

"I understand what it means to conserve in a tight economy, as a state we have been spending as if we have an endless reserve. I want to have a hand in bringing the kind of change to Harrisburg that would allow us to have a budget surplus instead of a deficit."

Engle graduated high school from Blue Mountain Academy in Hamburg, and attended college at La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif. He lives in Coal Township with his wife, Jordana.

State House candidate comments on healthcare summit

Fred Keller, a Republican candidate for the 85th state House seat in Snyder and Union counties, spoke out against President Obama’s televised healthcare summit on Thursday.

He said he doesn’t “have any room” for partisan sparring, and believes instead that politicians need to look to the individuals and small businesses who are the ones who will be mostly affected, and may have some good ideas of their own to solve the healthcare dilemma.

He believes the White House healthcare plan, at an estimated cost of nearly $1 trillion over a decade, will cripple small businesses with mandates they can’t afford.

In addition, Governor Rendell just offered a budget plan with 74 new taxes and wants to spend $1 billion more.

“The last thing Pennsylvania business owners now need is more spending and taxes from Washington,” Keller said. “Throwing taxes and borrowing money at the federal level isn’t going to solve the problem.”

“We need to come together for a solution that makes sense to everybody,” he said.

New poll numbers in U.S. Sentate race

Some new poll numbers still have U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter losing his seat to Republican challenger Pat Toomey in the November election.

A new poll conducted by Franklin & Marshall College of Lancaster, shows an interesting dichotomy between likely voters and registered voters. Among likely voters, the poll reads, Republican Pat Toomey leads by 10 points over Specter. But among registered voters, Specter leads by 4 percentage points.

Specter leads Sestak in the Democratic primary, 33 percent to 16 percent. Among likely voters, Toomey leads 38 percent to Sestak's 20 percent; while among registered voters, Toomey leads by a scant 25 percent to 22 percent. It looks like independents will hold the key to Specter’s reelection bid.

More details on President's Day Dance

Montour County GOP Committee Chairman Bruce Lesher received word Thursday Republican lieutenant governor candidate Jim Cawley will be attending Saturday night's President's Day Dance in the Danville Elks.

State Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is running on the Republican ticket for governor, is expected to arrive between 6 and 6:15 p.m. and speak at 6:50 p.m.

Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk, who is running for the U.S. House, has been confirmed to speak arfter Corbett at Saturday night's Montour County GOP gala.

Arc encourages support for developmentally disabled

The Arc of Susquehanna Valley is encouraging the public to attend a day-long Systems Advocacy and Government Affairs event in Harrisburg on Tuesday, March 23 sponsored by The Arc of Pennsylvania as a way of advocating for the developmentally disabled. Some of the candidates running for governor, along with elected state representatives are scheduled to attend.

Carney among 'most centrist' in Congress

And, U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-10, as been ranked by National Journal Magazine among the most bipartisan members of the 435-member House of Representatives. The nonpartisan magazine analyzed the 92 most significant votes in 2009 and ranked Congressman Carney the 11th most centrist member in the entire House of Representatives.

“I strive to be an independent voice for our region who represents the people, not a political party, Carney said. “I am glad to see those efforts recognized. The families in our district want a representative who will put solving our country’s problems above ideology.”