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Linglestown Gazette: Why I'm peeved at election results

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why I'm peeved at election results

My focus for Tuesday's primary election was on the Republican 15th Senate District race that was thrown wide open a few months ago when longtime officeholder Jeff Piccola decided not to seek re-election.

I put my money on Linglestown's own Bill Seeds, who has served as a Lower Paxton Township supervisor for 19 years. In my opinion, Bill is a true public servant and he – along with a small group of volunteers – worked his butt off knocking on doors in neighborhoods throughout the area.

I hoped for a large turnout of Lower Paxton voters that would propel Bill to an upset victory. (He was a decided underdog in the race for reasons that will be explained below.)

But it wasn't to be.

Per usual, the candidate backed by the Dauphin County Republican Party, John McNally, won the election by a large margin over Bill and Harrisburg resident Josh First. The vote count was: McNally (11,188 votes, 48.4 percent), First (6,027 votes, 26.1 percent) and Bill (5,900, 25.5 percent).

McNally, who headed the county GOP party for several years, called in his chips with local political power brokers, raised a boatload of money and carpet-bombed Republican households with giant-sized postcards.

In a press release, First said McNally outspent him by a whopping 25 to one. And that, my friends, makes my blood pressure go sky high.

Let me be clear about one thing: I have no ax to grind with McNally. What gets me is the political bigwigs that handpick a candidate and then take steps to financially squash the little guys.

I know, that's how the political game is played these days, but it sucks.

For once, I'd like to see a local political party level the playing field by holding an open primary and giving each candidate an equal amount of money. No endorsements, no fundraisers, no nothing.

I'd like to see the party hold voter forums and do other things to give all candidates a chance to communicate their views to voters. Instead of using resources to virtually guarantee victory for one candidate, money could be spent to encourage people to do their civic duty of taking a few minutes to go to a polling place to vote.

Is anyone with me?

In closing, I want to thank Bill and Josh for expending time, money and energy to campaign for public office.

McNally will face Democratic nominee Rob Teplitz in the general election. No matter who wins the seat, it's our job as citizens to make sure the new state senator is held accountable to the people, not to political insiders and power brokers.

Other races of interest in the November election:

11th Congressional District — Republican incumbent Lou Barletta vs. Democrat Gene Stilp

105th Legislative District — Republican incumbent Ron Marsico vs. Democrat Kelly Jean McEntee

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At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Scoutpylut said...

The Lower Paxton Township Republican Committee voted not to endorse either McNally, Seeds or First. Unfortunately, the Dauphin County Republican Committee voted overwhelmingly to endorse, then to endorse McNally. Pennsylvania GOP politics is lagging behind in the nationwide return to the Constitutional principles of a small government involvement in life.


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