Incumbent elected officials are facing challenges in the Nov. 6 General Election. Voters will be able to cast their ballots in Tuesday’s midterm with polls open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. in the state.
A list of polling places is available on the Susquehanna County website, www.susqco.com, on the Voter Registration page.
Topping the ballot is the United State Senate race, with Democratic incumbent Bob Casey Jr., of Scranton, squaring off against Republican Rep. Lou Barletta, of Hazleton.
Casey is seeking his third term in the senate; while Barletta opted to forego a reelection campaign to the US House to mount a challenge.
Incumbent Casey has been an ardent critic of President Donald Trump; while Barletta was among the president’s first supporters. Trump carried the state in the 2016 election by a small margin.
In response to questions submitted by the Susquehanna County Independent to the candidates, both Casey and Barletta provided answers. Both candidates were asked the same questions.
Casey said, “The top three (issues) before Congress and in this race are health care, jobs, and protecting the benefits seniors have earned through a lifetime of hard work.”
Barletta said he believed the most pressing issues facing the US Senate include “enacting policies to support a growing economy with good paying jobs, passing a long term infrastructure plan, putting an end to illegal immigration, and taking care of our veterans.”
Barletta said he supports the president’s plan to enact better trade deals, adding, “I also understand the risk posed to American agriculture and will continue to support efforts that alleviate difficulties for our farmers.”
Casey offered, “I’ve urged presidents of both parties to get tough on China for cheating on trade and I’ll support efforts to do that. However, it’s critical that this is done in a strategic, not impulsive, way. I’ve urged the Administration to reach a quick resolution with allies like Canada and Mexico and called on the Administration to ensure that trade remedies are targeted and tailored so they don’t inadvertently impact Pennsylvania businesses and workers.”
On the topic of healthcare, Barletta said, “In order to decrease the cost of insurance and expand care, it is important to pass patient centered solutions to inject competition and decrease costs for consumers.
“In a replacement plan, I would support reversing many of the ineffective price controls, tax increases, and regulations imposed by Obamacare. I have always and will continue to support protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions so that no one can be denied or not renewed coverage due to a pre-existing condition, have their coverage rescinded based on a pre-existing condition, have benefits excluded based on a pre-existing condition, or have their premiums raised because of a pre-existing condition.”
Casey said, “Over the past year, Republicans in Congress have repeatedly taken actions to sabotage our health care system, driving up costs and putting the protections Pennsylvanians depend on at risk. While many of these efforts failed, they remain committed to slashing Medicaid and repealing the Affordable Care Act and ending protections for millions of Pennsylvanians with preexisting conditions. Our focus should be on expanding access to affordable care, bringing down out-of-pocket expenses, and reducing the cost of prescription drugs. I support lowering the Medicare buy-in age to 55 and the public option, which would force insurance companies to compete and bring costs down. I also favor allowing drug importation to help lower the cost of prescription drugs.”
BROADBAND/INTERNET ACCESS IN RURAL PA
The candidates seemed to find common ground on a question regarding broadband service and internet access in rural areas.
Casey said, “Earlier this year, I called on the Trump Administration to prioritize rural broadband as they drafted their infrastructure plan. I have consistently worked to expand access to broadband since my election to the Senate. I have fought for millions in funding to expand broadband access throughout the state, and I have been working with the Public Utility Commission to fight to retain Pennsylvania’s share of federal funding for broadband.
If I am reelected, I will keep working to secure more funds and further build out our broadband infrastructure.
Barletta said, “As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I understand the need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. For the 21st century economy, infrastructure investment also includes broadband. I have long advocated for infrastructure investment and will continue to in the Senate.”
Casey and Barletta are not the only candidates for the US Senate seat. Green Party candidate Neal Gale and Libertarian Dale R. Kerns Jr. are also on the ballot.
Democratic incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf is seeking his second term, with John Fetterman as his Lt. Governor running mate.
Wolf faces a challenge from businessman and former state senator Scott Wagner. He has made several campaign visits in the county during the past several months.
The candidates offer a distinctly different view on natural gas – with Wolf seeking to enact a severance tax on drillers; and Wagner in favor of retaining the Act 13 Impact Fee.
In addition to Wolf and Wagner, the Green and Libertarian parties both have candidates appearing on the ballot. Paul Glover and running mate Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick are the Green Party nominees; and Ken V. Krawchuck, with Kathleen S. Smith on the ticket, are the Libertarian candidates.
US House – 12th District
See the related story, “12th District race offers distinct choices” which is focused on the newly created 12th District race between Republican incumbent Tom Marino and Democratic challenger Marc Friedenberg.
State Senate – 20th District
Republican incumbent Lisa Baker was unopposed in the primary, but faces a general election challenge from Green Party candidate John J. Sweeney.
Municipalities located on the Route 11 corridor and east in the county are part of the 20th District.
PA House – 110th
Republican incumbent Tina Pickett, of Bradford County, will face Democratic challenger and Sullivan County Commissioner Donna Iannone in the race for the PA House 110th District seat.
In Susquehanna County, municipalities in the 110th include Apolacon, Auburn, Dimock, Middletown, Rush and Springville townships, as well as the boroughs of Little Meadows, Hop Bottom and Friendsville.
PA House – 111th
Republican Jonathan Fritz, of Wayne County, is seeking election to a second term in state house. He is challenged for the seat by first-time Democratic candidate and Susquehanna County resident, Becky Kerr-Kinney.
In Susquehanna County, municipalities in the 111th include: Ararat, Bridgewater, Brooklyn, Choconut, Clifford, Forest Lake, Franklin, Gibson, Great Bend, Harford, Harmony, Herrick, Jackson, Jessup, Lenox, Liberty, New Milford, Oakland, Silver Lake and Thompson townships; and the boroughs of Montrose, Forest City, Great Bend, Hallstead, New Milford, Oakland, Susquehanna, Thompson and Uniondale.