Thursday, April 21, 2016

ELECTION: Candidates for US Senate

Remember, the primary is next Tuesday, April 26th. Usually our primaries are in May and a lot of people I've talked to think it's still at least a couple weeks away. Please spread the word.

I can't stress enough how important this year's elections are, not simply because we're electing the president, but more importantly, because you'll be choosing nearly every person who'll represent you both in the US Congress and the PA State Legislature. If you're tired of Congress not doing ANYTHING, use your vote to change the personnel.

Candidates for most of these offices are running unopposed in each party, so I'll cover those in October before the general election. For US Senate, though, there are 4 contenders on the Democratic ticket.

Pat Toomey, the incumbent senator, is running unopposed on the Republican side. Frankly I wish the GOP had found someone to run against him. You can check out his voting record at this link. It's dismal ~ he voted against a law restricting access to explosives to people on the terrorist watch list. He's co-sponsored anti-immigrant legislation and he's pretty much in the fracking industry's pocket, despite contaminated drinking water found around fracking sites in southwestern and north central PA. If I were a Republican, I'd use my write-in vote for that office.

On the Democratic side, the choices are John Fetterman, Katie McGinty, Joe Sestak and Joseph J. Vodvarka.

John Fetterman is in his 3rd term as mayor of Braddock, PA (about 10 mi outside Pittsburgh, population 2150). Before that he was a community organizer and GED teacher (actually, I kind of like this guy, but I'd love to see him as a state or US rep first). His website is

Katie McGinty ~ Until last July, she served 6 months as Chief of Staff under Governor Tom Wolf. She was the PA Secretary of Environmental Protection from 2003-2008 and Chairperson of the Council of Environmental Quality in the Clinton White House from 1995-98. In between these posts, she worked for several clean energy businesses and also ran unsuccessfully in the primary for Governor of PA, finishing 4th behind McCord, Schwartz and Tom Wolf. She lives in Wayne and her website is

Joe Sestak served in the US House of Representatives from 2007-2011 in PA's 7th District (a ridiculously gerrymandered patchwork of communities from Reading to the PA/DE border). He ran against Toomey before in 2010. Before running for public office, he was special assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, and before that a 3-star admiral. He retired from the Navy when his daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer.  His website is and you can view his Congressional voting record at this link

Joseph Vodvarka is the owner of a small business called Ace Wire Spring & Form located right outside of Pittsburgh. He's never served in public office. The "principles" listed on his website in lieu of policy stances sound very Tea Partyish.

I'm endorsing Sestak. He's the only one with legislative experience and he did a good job for his constituents when he was in Congress before.

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