Pennsylvania officials continue to make it easier and easier to vote, adding new outlets for absentee ballots and allowing more time to register for an election. Unfortunately, when those people exercise their constitutional duty, many of our elected officials will get a pass in April and some in the spring and again in November.
Some good news is that a handful of people have stood up to make sure our elected officials don’t get a free pass back into office.
Candidates who wanted to get on the April 28 primary ballot — for everything from president to state representative — had to meet a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline with the state Department of State.
Both U.S. Reps. Fred Keller and Dan Meuser, are unopposed in the primary. In Meuser’s 9th District, Susan Quick of Lebanon County and Gary Wegman of Berks County will face off in the Democratic primary before facing Meuser in November. Keller will face Lee Griffin, of Northumberland County, in November. Griffin is a local businessman.
According to The Associated Press, “Pennsylvania’s competitive congressional seats drew at least 54 people filing to run. All 18 incumbents — nine Democrats and nine Republicans — serving in the U.S. House filed to run again, and all 18 are slated to have a general election challenge.”
In the state Senate, neither Valley senator — John Gordner and Gene Yaw — will face a primary challenge, but will face an opponent in the fall. Michelle Siegel, a Selinsgrove resident, has announced she will be a Democratic challenger Gordner for the 27th Senatorial District seat. Susquehanna County resident Jaclyn Baker is the lone Democrat to file a petition to challenge Yaw in the 23rd District.
In the state House, there is one open seat after Garth Everett, who represents portions of Union County, announced that he will not seek another term in 2020. Four candidates — Democrat Amanda Waldman and Republican’s Michael Dincher, Joseph Hamm and Dave Hines — will battle for Everett’s vacated seat in the 84th District.
The Valley’s three other representatives — Lynda Culver, Kurt Masser and David Rowe — will not face primary nor general election challenges. It means they are all guaranteed another two-year term.
While we appreciate the job they have done in Harrisburg, no candidate should get a free pass during an election year. Elections are better when people participate and that means not just voting, but standing up and running for office.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.