Elections

Primary Election 2018: Voter’s Guide


Election day is here once again.

Tuesday, May 15 is primary election day across Pennsylvania.

All polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

As a reminder, Tuesday is a closed primary, meaning only registered Democrats can vote for Democrats, registered Republicans can only vote for Republicans.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, there were 190,414 Democrats, 183,509 registered Republicans in Bucks County and 72,402 registered to no party or another affiliation as of November 2017.

CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE

NO identification is needed to vote. The exception is if you are a first-time voter or this will be your first election in a new ward.

If you are looking to write-in a candidate, poll site staff can show you how to add a person’s name.

Problems at the Polls? Contact the Bucks County Board of Elections at 215-348-6154.

Click here to see a sample ballot for Bucks County.

The below candidate information has been provided through an extensive guide compiled by the League of Women Voters of Bucks County.

Special Election

178 State Legislative District

Helen Tai, Democrat

Education: M.A. Statistics – Penn State University B.S. Statistics – University of Michigan

Qualifications: Chair, Solebury Township Board of Supervisors Small business owner and process improvement consultant

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: I want to ensure ALL Pennsylvanians have an equal opportunity to succeed. My top priorities are all related to this goal. 1. Reform Harrisburg – our legislators are protecting the special interests instead of focusing on the very real problems that need fixing. As a small business owner, every day I help organizations and people work together more effectively to find common sense solutions to problems. That’s why I have taken a pledge not to accept corporate PAC money and I will introduce a bill that requires the legislature to pass a balanced budget on time or they won’t get paid. 2. Ensuring funding for public education – a good education is the basic foundation for everyone to have an equal opportunity to succeed. We must find a fair funding formula to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to good quality public education. 3. Ensuring quality, affordable healthcare – Everyone deserves access to health care, and no one should lose their homes because they get sick.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: Gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts is detrimental to our democracy by allowing politicians to choose their voters instead of voters choosing their representatives. It pushes politicians to be more and more extreme and reduces bi-partisan cooperation. I strongly support redistricting reform with an independent citizen’s commission. As a Solebury Township Supervisor, I drove the passage of a  resolution urging state lawmakers to pass SB22 and HB722, which calls for the creation of a truly independent citizens redistricting commission devoid of political motivation or partisanship. I also met with my state senator to urge him to cosponsor SB22. This is the only way to ensure a fair and accurate legislative and congressional redistricting process that respects political subdivisions and communities of interest and prohibits districts from being drawn to favor or discriminate against a political party or candidate.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: Voting integrity is critically important. In 2016, we saw the consequences of Russian hacking. This not only undermines our democracy but causes voters to be distrustful of the voting process, which may cause
them to become disengaged from voting. We must implement technology upgrades with a paper trail. We also need to do everything we can to make voting more accessible and efficient – we should make Election Day a holiday, provide for early voting, no-excuse absentee voting, and same day voter registration.

Wendi Thomas, Republican

Education: Hatboro-Horsham High School graduate Gettysburg College, BA

Qualifications: Work for 9 years on Council Rock School Board; over that time served as President, Vice President, Finance Chair, Academic Standard Chair. Successful business professional building a team and business that helps people navigate healthcare.

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: 1. Making education the top priority in the budget process by supporting more funding for school and fostering innovation in education to deliver the best outcomes for students. 2. Control spending and protect
property taxpayers as I did while on Council Rock School Board, where we cut costs by millions of dollars and kept property taxes the third lowest in Bucks County. In Harrisburg, I will focus the budget on priorities, cut out waste, and push for reforms that help school districts and local government control property taxes. 3. Keep our families safe by supporting a comprehensive approach to preventing gun violence, and working with law enforcement, drug addiction experts, and residents to address the opioid epidemic.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: I believe the recent fight over redistricting illustrates the need for change and, as Representative, I would support an independent redistricting commission that takes partisanship out of the process; we must ensure
that how we establish this prevents special interests and partisan interests from influencing or corrupting the commission or process.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: I believe the League of Women Voters and all citizens share my view that when examining any election reforms, our top priority must be ensuring the sanctity of the ballot and the election system. Reforms must be carefully examined to prevent unintended consequences, ballot insecurity, or fraud; for example, recent reports in the Inquirer prove how the Motor Voter Law has inadvertently allowed those who are not allowed to vote to register to do so. As a legislator, I will support numerous proposals to improve voter access, voter participation, and ballot security. These include things such as allowing 17-year-olds who will be 18 by Election Day to pre-register; early voting; ensuring paper trails for all electronic voting systems; increased ability to vote by absentee ballot and more

Candidates

Senator (6-year term)

Bob Casey Jr., Democrat

Candidate did not provide information.

Lou Barletta, Republican

Education: Attended Bloomsburg State College (Bloomsburg University) where I majored in elementary education.

Qualifications: As a former small business owner, mayor of Hazleton, and member of Congress, I have a strong record of standing up and fighting for people in my community.

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: My top three priorities are keeping Pennsylvania’s families safe, protecting Pennsylvania jobs, and standing up for the men and women who serve our communities. More than anything, people want someone
willing to fight for them, when no one else will. That’s what I have always done, and that’s why I’m running for the U.S. Senate.

Q: If elected, what will you do to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected and that our elections are accessible and secure from internal and external threats?
A: Congress has a constitutional duty to preserve the integrity of our democracy and ensure that our elections are both free and fair. As a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, I have worked
with my colleagues to make sure our voting systems are secure. I recently voted for increased funding for states to improve their election security, as well as increased funding to counter Russian cyber attacks. I
also spoke out against the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to throw out Pennsylvania’s bipartisan, constitutionally-drawn congressional map in the middle of the election, creating chaos and confusion among voters.

Q: What steps will you take to ensure that the upcoming census is fully funded, accurate, and avoids under-counting?
A: The Census is important to provide legislators with accurate information to make informed policy decisions that are in the best interest of our country. I continue to support efforts to fund the Census and
ensure that it accurately reflects our nation’s demographics.

Jim Christiana, Republican

Candidate did not provide information.

Governor (4-year term)

Tom Wolf, Democrat

Education: Dartmouth College (BA), the University of London (MA), and M.I.T. (PhD)

Qualifications: Business Owner, Secretary of Governor, Governor

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: Investing in our Kids and Schools: I have made clear my strong commitment to education in Pennsylvania by fully restoring education funding cuts made in the previous administration, providing unprecedented support to high-quality pre-k programs, and ensuring students are college and career ready by expanding opportunities for career and technical education. Grow Jobs and Support Workers: I have eliminated burdensome taxes on businesses like the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax and I am working to grow the economy by moving forward on large projects. I have and will continue to invest in manufacturing, apprenticeships, and workforce development initiatives. Protect Our Seniors and Access to Health Care: I took immediate action to provide health insurance to more than 720,000 Pennsylvanians by expanding Medicaid, and under my administration the commonwealth’s uninsured rate is the lowest it has ever been. I have also increased opportunities for seniors to age in their homes.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: I have long supported an independent citizen’s redistricting commission. We must eliminate partisan politics from the legislative redistricting process by enacting legislation to end gerrymandering by establishing an independent, bi-partisan commission to create future electoral maps. I also stood up to the House State Government Committee Republican majority’s last-minute move to gut and replace House Bill
722, which was intended to create an independent redistricting commission, with a redistricting process that is more politically driven. To rebuild trust in Harrisburg, we must have fair and accessible elections for all citizens from our rural communities to our big cities.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: Yes, I have long advocated for voting modernization. Upon coming into office, I launched online voter registration and now more than a million Pennsylvanians have used it. I also launched a voter information
texting initiative and a program to get high school seniors to register to vote. I also directed the Pennsylvania Department of State to require new voting machines to have a voter-verifiable paper ballot or paper  record of votes cast. I recently launched a 21st century voting reform plan that includes same day voter registration, automatic voter registration, modernization of absentee ballots, campaign finance reform, and gerrymandering reform.

Laura Ellsworth, Republican

Education: University of Pittsburgh, J.D. magna cum laude 1983. Princeton University, B.A., 1980

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: Jobs/economic development; education/workforce; restoring financial integrity (e.g. No Budget No Pay; fiscal transparency)

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: I have long supported the creation of a bipartisan citizen commission, because districts should be drawn to protect the value of citizens’ votes, not the self-interest of politicians.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: I support the development of Cybersecurity standards; simplification of absentee/early voting; and updates of technology to enhance verification of results.

Paul Mango, Republican

Education: Distinguished Cadet, United States Military Academy, 1981; MBA, Harvard Business School, 1988

Qualifications: Served as a Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division; Successfully built a $500M global health care business during his nearly 30 year career at McKinsey and Company’s Pittsburgh office; Supported numerous Veteran-related causes in the community

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: 1. Bringing our jobs and children back to Pennsylvania by prioritizing job growth in all regions in the state. This includes reducing our obscene business tax structure that kills jobs, empowering counties to eliminate school property taxes and alleviating Harrisburg’s enormous regulatory burden and anti-business culture 2. Tackling the opioid epidemic more comprehensively by addressing the social and criminal  aspects of the problem in addition to the criminal elements of the problem. I was the first candidate to call for a statewide emergency declaration nine months ago. We must go further to eliminate “diseases of despair” that lead to drug addiction 3. Reimagining our education system to prioritize two outcomes: are our children competitive in a global economy and are they good citizens? This involves eliminating Harrisburg mandates and re-thinking standardized testing, bringing dignity back to the trades and vocational education, and tying programs to the needs of local employers

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: I support the model established in the state Constitution. Any proposed replacement process can be corrupted as easily as the existing process. Elections have consequences and I believe that the Constitution  was quite clear on the process for drawing districts. I believe the Supreme Court overstepped its bounds by changing the congressional districts in this instance.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: Voting is an essential element of our American democracy, and I support efforts to increase accessibility and confidence in our elections. There have been several proposals in other states that we should adopt in
Pennsylvania. I support early voting, either in person or via no-excuse absentee voting. I also support requesting absentee ballots online. Finally, I would also advocate for continued federal funding for replacing
voting machines that are approaching the end of their useful lives based on funding from 15 years ago.

Scott Wagner, Republican

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: Overhauling governmental impositions is a top priority. On day one, I will employ zero-based budgeting, introducing a transparent budget process that will make sense for taxpayers and investing in what works to end wasteful and ineffective spending. With over 153,000 regulations and a regulatory authority out of control, meaningful regulation reform must be implemented, such as my current proposal to count, cap, and reduce. Second, I have been all over Pennsylvania and I have heard my mission loud and clear, I will eliminate property taxes as Governor. Many of our children are receiving an outstanding education, but the
reality is that too many students are graduating from high school without the necessary skills to be successful in college or the workforce. We must retool and redesign our education system to ensure today’s students are adequately prepared to be tomorrow’s adults. Without a major overhaul, we will continue to do a great disservice to our children and their educators.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to overstep its bounds and override the legislature by drawing its own maps did a great disservice to the citizens of Pennsylvania. In light of this travesty, I would support an independent citizens redistricting commission to ensure that Pennsylvanians will have access to fair and equal elections when it comes time to work on maps after the 2020 census.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: Pennsylvania is among only 13 states that do not use paper ballots or have paper backup systems for electronic voting machines. I support the decision of the Department of State to require counties to replace
their voting machines with systems that have paper trails. Pennsylvania has received $13.5 million in federal funding and the state is also required to provide a 5% match to this money. Thus, Pennsylvania has $14.15 million to help counties fund the purchase of these new voting machines. It is critical that state government make sure that counties have adequate funds available to ensure that they can meet their responsibility as it relates to voting systems.

Lieutenant Governor (4-year term)

Nina Ahmad, Democrat

Education: PhD in Chemistry from University of Pennsylvania

Qualifications: Former Deputy Mayor of Public Engagement of the City of Philadelphia, Former President of National Organization for Women–Philadelphia Chapter, Member of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: (1) Governor Wolf has already expanded access to healthcare, moving the needle from 14% of Pennsylvanians uninsured to 10%. I want to bring that number down to zero. I believe that healthcare is a
fundamental human right. (2) I will make sure that every child, regardless of the zip code they live in, has access to quality public education. This can happen through increased funding and legislative accountability. (3) I will fight mass incarceration and work with the legislature to make clemency easier to achieve, as well as end the Board of Pardons’ three-year backlog.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: Absolutely. Partisan legislators have long abused their redistricting power to silence poor and minority voters. Pennsylvania should form an independent redistricting commission that not only allows but encourages everyone to get involved, and most importantly, we need to actually approve and implement fair maps.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: There are so many things we can do as a state to increase voter turnout and ensure that every Pennsylvanian feels involved in the democratic process. I fully support no-excuse absentee voting, as well as online absentee voting applications. I also support early voting, same day voter registration, open primaries, and funding for voting technology upgrades. Additionally, I believe election day should be a state holiday, and would advocate for legislation prohibiting employers from punishing employees who leave work to vote. Voting is the most fundamental building block of democracy, and it must never be restricted.

Kathi Cozzone, Democrat

Education: College of New Jersey – 1984

Qualifications: In addition to representing over 500,000 people as Chester County Commissioner for the past decade, I also I serve on two statewide advisory committees, and serve as First Vice President of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: My top three priorities are criminal justice reform, workforce development, and pipeline infrastructure and safety.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: Yes, the redistricting process should be a nonpartisan effort conducted by an independent commission.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: Early voting and same-day registration are important ways to increase voter turn out, and I support them, provided counties have a say in how these measures enacted, so the cost is not onerous to counties,
and subsequently to property tax payers.

John Fetterman, Democrat

Education: Albright College 1991 Harvard University Masters in Public Policy 1999

Qualifications: Mayor of Braddock for 13 yrs – drastically reduced food and clothing insecurity – eliminated heat insecurity this year – successfully implemented community policing model Founder of Braddock Redux Director for Out-Of-School Youth Program

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: I will be a progressive backstop for the Governor, advocate for economic justice and our forgotten communities in Pennsylvania, and utilize and transform the office of the Lt Governor to its fullest potential.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: Congressional and legislative districts should be drawn to ensure that candidates and elected officials are held accountable by voters. Boundaries should protect the interests of all voters and protect voting rights, and should not show preference to one political affiliation. We recently had a huge win with redistricting in Pennsylvania. I would certainly support formalized citizen input for a more fair and unbiased redistricting
process.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: I support any reform that gets more people to turn out to vote, and makes voting easier. In addition to the above measures I think we should make Election Day a holiday and get more working people to the
polls.

Ray Sosa, Democrat

Education: BS in Bus. Administration. Marketing minor. Insurance lic. in Life, Accident, Health and Annuities.

Qualifications: Ray was appointed by three Governors providing legislative support and coordinating Emergency Management Response and was Chairman of the Governor’s Human Rights Advocacy Committee
for ten years.

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: 1) Advocate for compulsory education for our prisoners and post prison opportunities. 2) Establish a permanent and reliable funding formula for our schools that protects our homeowners. Provide a safe environment for children in our schools. 3) Help for the farming community through fair taxation, infrastructure, broadband and subsidies to give our farmers the upper hand.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: I do support reforming our congressional and legislative process. It must have non partisan civilian oversight to make sure districts are drawn fairly.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: I would support additional funding for voting technology upgrades. I would also support early voting and same day voting registration. I however consider no-excuse absentee voting risky and it exposes our system to fraud.

Mike Stack, Democrat

Education: LaSalle College HS LaSalle College Villanova University Law School

Qualifications: 14 years Senator from NE Philadelphia 3 years Lieutenant Governor

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: Reforming our criminal justice system to make the pardons process more accessible for lay people and to reignite the commutation process to end death by incarceration. Expanding the Lieutenant Governor’s
Veterans Task Force to include experts from all corners of the commonwealth and ensuring that every veteran in every county has access to a specialized Veterans Treatment Court. Ending partisan gerrymandering.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: Yes. I was a defendant in the League of Women Voters lawsuit, but I instructed my attorney not to seek removal from the case, but to help expose the secretive partisan process that produced the 2011 maps. At a
fraction of the cost of the other defendants, we were successful in showing the court the partisan nature of the maps and producing our own map for the court’s review. We must build in this success to reform the
state legislative map-making process. It is highly suspicious that all statewide officeholders are Democrats but the Senate is two-thirds Republican. The current system is not working.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: I support all of these reforms as well as the Governor’s mandate that any future voting machines have paper back-up.

Jeff Bartos, Republican

Candidate did not provide information.

Kathy Coder, Republican

Education: MSOL Geneva College BA Communications/BS Business Edinboro University

Qualifications: For the last 18 years I have owned a business where I help organizations develop leaders, create change, and get results. I have been a local elected official for the last nine years where I have used
good leadership practices to get results.

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: 1. Leadership- Based on my experience, I will implement good leadership practices to this office and work with the Governor to set a culture of cooperation and results. We need to bring alignment at the top through creating a clear mission, vision, and plan while setting goals and a budget to accomplish the vision. 2. Accountability-This office is loosely defined and highest paid in the Country. I believe the people of PA should be able to see what the Lt. Gov is accomplishing. I would create a clear set of goals and share them with the public to have transparency. 3. Attract new businesses and work with local governments. I would use my business development background to work with the Dept. of Economic Development to recruit new businesses to PA. Using my local government experience I would help create programs to align and help
municipalities save money and use resources more effectively.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: Yes- I believe there needs to be accountability in place to make this a non-political process. A truly independent commission that would have nothing to gain from the process, but to look at the redistricting
from a logical, unbiased, fresh perspective. The challenge would be the process of appointing these people to the commission. As we know from past practices, these commissions end up being highly political and appointed by politicians with much to lose or gain.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: I am in favor of looking at ways to modernize voting around better technology. I think our State would have to research the best technology and practices that are most secure and efficient. I’m not sure our
current system is the most effective way to make voting accessible and accurate. Also, there needs to be better training for the judge of elections, local election boards, and election workers. I have seen many inconsistencies. I would like to study States who are currently using some of the other reforms to see if it’s working and learn from their successes and mistakes. Without seeing how it is working it is hard for me to make a hard decision on early voting, same day registration, etc.

Peg Luksik, Republican

Candidate did not provide information.

Diana Irey, Republican

Education: West Virginia Business College

Qualifications: Washington County Commissioner for 23 years, with a strong record of fiscal responsibility, and outcome-based requirements for all government programs. Washington County has low taxes, economic growth, a healthy pension fund and a AA S&P bond rating.

Questions:

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?
A: -Bringing our jobs and children back to Pennsylvania by increasing the economic fortunes for all people, in all regions in the state. This includes; creating a corporate tax structure that is encouraging, not discouraging, empowering counties to eliminate school property taxes and alleviating Harrisburg’s enormous regulatory burden and anti-business culture. -Tackle the opioid epidemic by taking a comprehensive approach that acts swiftly and compassionately by going after suppliers of the drugs, improving treatment, and reinstating mandatory minimum sentences for dealers. -Criminal aliens are going unpunished by fleeing to sanctuary cities. One of my priorities will be to end sanctuary cities in Pennsylvania. If you commit a crime you should be punished, illegal aliens shouldn’t be given special treatment by the law when legal citizens are not.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: I support the model established in the state constitution. Elections have consequences; however, I believe the Supreme Court overstepped its bounds by changing the congressional districts.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to
ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: Voting is an essential element of our American democracy. Some voting reforms and modernization proposals I support include: * Early Voting – 2 week period prior to Election Day ending the week before Election Day for voters who will be out of town on Election Day, or those just wishing to vote early. * No Excuse Absentee Voting – It would eliminate the requirement of voting in person on Election Day if your plans changed and it would eliminate sending voted absentee ballots to the polls for poll workers to ‘void’ if voter voted in person. Sending the voted absentee ballots to polls can result in lost ballots because of poll worker error. * Submit requests for Absentee Voting online via the votespa.com web site. I also support funding for upgraded voting machines that ensure the accuracy, security and reliable verification of votes cast.

First Congressional District (2-year term)

Steve Bacher, Democrat

Education: B.A. w/Honors, Wesleyan University, English/Theater M.F.A., The University of Texas at Austin, Drama

Qualifications: Lifelong Democrat active in our community. Served on Newtown Environmental Advisory Council, co-founded Bucks 350.org & Bucks Environmental Action Coalition. 30-yr career of public service in nonprofit, government and higher education sectors.

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: Get big money out of politics, increase working people’s quality of life, & protect our air and water. You should only be eligible to make campaign donations if you can vote in the election. Elections should be publicly financed. This would lead to many other policy changes that big money currently prevents. We must increase the minimum wage to a living wage, so a family of four can afford to live out of poverty with one full-time wage earner and no government assistance. We must pass Medicare-for-All, so workers can change jobs without changing health insurance & doctors, and entrepreneurs can take business risks without affecting health their insurance. Make it easier for workers to organize and join unions. We must fully fund the Environmental Protection Agency, stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, and accelerate our transition to 100% renewable energy. The clean energy sector already employs 4,000 people in our district; renewable energy creates long-term, high paying jobs.

Q: If elected, what will you do to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected and that our elections are accessible and secure from internal and external threats?
A: Accessibility: Expand early voting opportunities & access to mail-in, no-excuse-needed absentee ballots, and eliminate discriminatory voter ID requirements. Voters should be automatically registered  on their 18th birthday, and sent a notice inviting them to register with a party to participate in primary elections. Mass incarceration has denied many Americans their rights; ex-felons’ voting rights should be restored. Partisan gerrymandering is out of control. Nonpartisan commissions should set the boundaries for State legislative and Congressional districts, such as those proposed by https://www.fairdistrictspa.com/. The Voting Rights Act must be strengthened to restore enforcement of Section 5. Security: All votes should be recorded on a voter-verified paper ballot. Voter registration systems must meet strict cyber-security standards. Strict standards must be set for vote counting machines and electronic recording of votes. Vote counting machines should not be connected to the web.

Q: What steps will you take to ensure that the upcoming census is fully funded, accurate, and avoids under-counting?
A: I will sponsor and support legislation to eliminate the citizenship question, which will discourage participation. I will sponsor and support legislation to ensure that the Census is fully funded, as in 2010. I am concerned that the Census of 2020 may well already be fatally flawed, since it has been underfunded and essential preparation work is not being done.

Rachel Reddick, Democrat

Qualifications: Two years as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence, almost 7 years as an Officer and Judge Advocate in the Navy, including a Congressional Defense Fellowship in Congressman Tom O’Halleran’s office.

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: In Congress, my top three priorities will be ensuring universal access to healthcare, including comprehensive reproductive care, a strong economy that works for everyone, and public schools that all of
our children can rely on to prepare them for the future. When I gave birth to my son while on active duty, I had universal coverage and didn’t have to worry about paying for my multiple emergency surgeries following his birth. But too many Americans face both financial challenges and quality concerns. In one of the wealthiest countries in the world, all citizens deserve the right to be able to afford to go to the doctor when they’re sick. We also need an economy that that supports hard working families with a living wage, safe work places, and training for the jobs of the future. Finally, as a mother whose son will soon enter public school, we need to prioritize public education and support our teachers so every child has the opportunity to succeed.

Q: If elected, what will you do to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected and that our elections are accessible and secure from internal and external threats?
A: First and foremost, we need to restore the Voting Rights Act and work to reduce the barriers to voting, like voter ID laws and limited early and absentee voting. It’s also important to make sure everyone’s vote counts the same through non-partisan redistricting reform. We were excited to have new congressional maps here in Pennsylvania, and hope that trend continues at the federal and state level across the country. Finally, we need to reduce the impact of money in politics by ending the damage done by the Citizens United decision. I have taken the Move to Amend pledge to support a constitutional amendment stating corporations do not have Constitutional rights and that money is not speech.

Q: What steps will you take to ensure that the upcoming census is fully funded, accurate, and avoids undercounting?
A: In Congress, I’ll fight for the Census Bureau to be fully funded and staffed to ensure that all underserved communities are counted. I opposed adding a citizenship question to the census because it will lead to undercounting those living in the United States, which will impact how our resources are distributed for things like schools and infrastructure. I am proud that Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro joined other state officials in taking legal action to oppose the decision to include this question. In addition to the work being done at the state level, Congress must act to ensure that the question is not included on the census.

Scott Wallace, Democrat

Education: Haverford College, B.A. Villanova Law School, J.D.

Qualifications: Attorney, US Senate counsel for Judiciary and Veterans Affairs Committees, legislative advocate for nonprofits working on criminal justice reform, 15 years running charitable foundation investing
in democracy, womens’ empowerment and climate change.

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: Green jobs: Climate change is both a crisis and an opportunity. We must reverse Trump’s cancellation of our domestic and international obligations, and pivot to the huge promise of a clean energy future – with millions of green jobs, carbon-free, in solar, wind, geothermal, and building retrofits for energy efficiency. It’s time for Medicare for All. With less profits for huge insurance and pharmaceutical companies, total costs will plummet, with quality undiminished. I know personally: my wife and I just went on Medicare, and nothing went down but the cost. Money in politics corrupts everything, whether NRA money and guns, Wall Street money and consumer protections, polluters’ money and pollution, or corporate money and a trillion dollars in tax breaks to corporations and billionaires. I won’t take a dime of corporate PAC money. Unlike our current congressional Representative, nobody will ever have to wonder who the heck I’m working for.

Q: If elected, what will you do to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected and that our elections are accessible and secure from internal and external threats?
A: To guarantee voting rights for all Americans, I would work for automatic voter registration – every American is automatically registered to vote when they pay taxes or get a driver’s license. Extend opportunities for early voting. Restore the Voting Rights Act, to prevent discriminatory voter-suppression laws. Make it easier to vote, not harder. Ensure a paper trail for all ballots, to allow verifiable recounts, and reliable democracy. Fully document Russian interference in our 2016 elections, and work to make sure it never happens again.

Q: What steps will you take to ensure that the upcoming census is fully funded, accurate, and avoids under-counting?
A: Block Trump’s plan to question people’s citizenship status. Millions of people will be afraid to answer, and the results will be disastrous, including misallocation of federal funding and congressional representation. The census bureau must be led by qualified professionals, fully staffed, and appropriately funded. An accurate census guides everything the government does, and every dollar it spends, for the next ten years. Skewed results will taint every governmental decision, and imbalance the fairness of our democracy.

Brian Fitzpatrick, Republican

Candidate did not provide information.

Dean Malik, Republican

Education: Haverford School for Boys, BA Syracuse University, JD Villanova Law School

Qualifications: Licensed Attorney, Former Criminal Prosecutor, Former Military Lawyer, Former Marine Officer, Iraq War Veteran, Presently an Attorney in Private Practice

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: 1. Protect all rights and liberties as guaranteed by the Constitution. 2.Support President Trump’s agenda, in a fiscally responsible way, for the economy and foreign policy. 3. Enact term limits for all elected offices.

Q: If elected, what will you do to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected and that our elections are accessible and secure from internal and external threats?
A: I will seek a national voter ID law to ensure that all eligible citizens have access to a free identification card ensuring access to the ballot in a way which will promote accurate, legal, and secure elections. I would
also consider legislation seeking uniform ballot procedures throughout every state, in compliance with a voter ID law, for all federal elections.

Q: What steps will you take to ensure that the upcoming census is fully funded, accurate, and avoids under-counting?
A: I would include a citizenship question to ensure comprehensive accuracy and to ensure that allocations of resources and legislative districts properly reflects citizenship composition. I would also ask for a detailed, cost-effective budget, to ensure that the census is adequately funded.

Sixth State Senatorial District (6-year term)

Tina Davis, Democrat

Education: BA, LaSalle University

Qualifications: I am currently a State Representative (D-141) and have served in this position since 2011. Previously, I served as a township councilperson from 2006 to 2010. I was a real estate salesperson for
many years and have a BA from LaSalle University.

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: We need better funding for our schools, higher wages for middle-class families, and real protections for women’s rights across Pennsylvania. >Funding for our schools: It is imperative that we find a way to adequately and permanently fund our schools. Pennsylvania cannot continue to strip schools of funding forcing local school districts to raise property taxes on already beleaguered property taxpayers. I believe we need to raise fees on oil and gas companies that drill in Pennsylvania and use these funds to help finance our schools. >Protecting our middle class: I will fight for better wages for our middle and working class families to break from their years of stagnant income growth. > Protecting women’s rights: women’s healthcare is under attack in Pennsylvania and I will ensure that women in Bucks and across the Commonwealth have access to the healthcare services they need.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: I am a strong advocate for electoral and redistricting reform Voters should choose their representatives — representatives should not be choosing their voters. We need a fair and reasonable process where the potential for partisan abuse is minimized. Across America, voters have been dismayed by hyper-partisan legislatures implementing unfair redistricting plans. I believe these kinds of political games compromise the integrity of our political system. I support an independent citizen’s redistricting commission to fairly and honestly redraw Pennsylvania’s legislative districts. We need an open and transparent redistricting commission that reflects the will of the people, not the self-interests of legislators.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: I support any reform that will widen voter participation while still protecting our voting system from being compromised by foreign governments or other bad actors. We need to invest in technology upgrades to
ensure that our electoral system is secure from the problems that we faced in 2016. At the same time, we need to remove barriers to voting that plague many Americans. Every American should enjoy the right to vote. These reforms should include same-day registration, no-excuse absentee voting, and early voting. Government needs to work to making voting easy, more convenient, and open to all.

Robert Tommy Tomlinson, Republican

Candidate did not provide information.

10th State Senatorial District (6-year term)

Steve Santarsiero, Democrat

Education: B.A., Tufts University J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School M.Ed., Holy Family University

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: My top three priorities are rebuilding our economy, strengthening our communities, and protecting our democracy. The key to more jobs, better jobs and higher wages is education. It starts in early childhood,
continues through the primary and secondary levels and runs through college and job training. Great communities don’t just happen; they require hard work. We need to support our state and local police who are on the frontlines of protecting us every day and make sure that the resources are there that support law enforcement, such as treatment for mental health and addiction and, once and for all, a system of universal background checks on all firearm purchases to help prevent gun violence. For our democracy to work, its institutions have to function. We need to end gerrymandering and create a non-partisan commission to decide congressional and state lines; we need campaign finance reform; and we need to make it easier for people to vote.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: We need to stop the practice whereby elected officials pick their voters. It’s supposed to be the other way around. I support the creation of a non-partisan commission to decide congressional and state legislative lines.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: Let’s make it easier for people to vote, not harder. I support early voting and voting by mail. Both have worked in other states; they can work here too. I also support no-excuse absentee voting, same day voter registration, and additional investments into upgrading out voting technology and security.

Marguerite Quinn, Republican

Education: St. Joseph’s University, B.A. International Relations; Archbishop Wood High School

Qualifications: As a State Representative, I have a proven record of putting aside partisan politics and working with everyone to achieve real results and pass legislation to make a positive difference for the people I serve, our local community, and Pennsylvania.

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: 1. I have always made education my top priority and delivered more funding for basic education than ever before. We must continue to adequately fund schools, move away from reliance on standardized
testing, and support proven, innovational tools to prepare children for success. 2. As Representative, I have brought fiscal discipline to state government by focusing on priorities and spending wisely instead of simply
spending more to protect taxpayers while still meeting the goals of the state. I have also supported measures like a fair natural gas severance tax, public pension reform and more to help us reach a strong financial foundation for state operations. 3. Protecting our quality of life by addressing the myriad of issues our communities face. From supporting measures that deal with gun violence, to combating the opioid epidemic, to addressing environmental concerns, to improving our healthcare system,and more. I have a proven record of results, and a smart plan for the future.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: I do support this reform, and I am a co-sponsor of legislation, supported by Fair Districts PA, to create an independent redistricting commission to help remove politics from this process.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: My first goal with any possible voting reforms is to ensure the sanctity of the ballot and security of our voting systems. Because of this, I will carefully examine any proposal to avoid any unintended consequences that could result in fraud or ballot insecurity. I do agree with recent changes allowing voter registration online; I also would vote to allow 17 year olds who will be 18 by Election Day to pre-register to vote, and would support absentee ballot changes that make it easier for people to vote by mail. I also believe we must allow counties to add paper trails to electronic machines to ensure that we have tangible items that can be referenced in cases of recounts or disputes.

31st State Legislative District (2-year term)

Perry Warren, Democrat

Education: Colgate University, B.A., with Honors Univ. of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., with Honors

Qualifications: State Representative, 2017-present Newtown Borough Council, 2009-2017 Attorney, Business Owner and Father of five children

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: Ensuring: – High quality, safe and affordable education at every level. “High quality” includes quality, well-educated teachers, adequate building and curriculum materials and programs that educate students of diverse talents and backgrounds. “Safe” includes safety from gun violence, bullying and discrimination. “Affordable…at every level” includes pre-K, K-12 and college. – Functional, effective, ethical and cost efficient government. Reducing the gridlock and working together to accomplish objectives. Providing effective constituent services to our residents. Maintaining high ethical standards. – Environmental protection, including clean water and air and maintaining regulatory oversight of industries that impact the environment, and enacting a fair several tax on drilling. – Fair districting and fair voting reform would be in the top three; however, those topics are covered in the next two questions.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: Yes. I am a cosponsor of House Bill 722, which would create an independent redistricting commission and would represent a significant step toward reducing partisan gerrymandering. Voters should choose their
representatives, rather than politicians choose their voters. Congressional and state representative and senate districts should be drawn in a logical geographic and community-based manner, reflective of the communities, and should not be designed to maximizing the representation of a political party.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: I support no-excuse absentee voting, early voting and funding for voting technology upgrades and to ensure the security of our voting technology. I support same-day voter registration, so long as it can be safeguarded (e.g., to prevent a voter from voting in Precinct A and then going and registering and voting again in Precinct B). In the internet age, Pennsylvania’s absentee voting system is archaic. it requires a
voter first to complete and mail an application, then to wait for a ballot to in the mail, complete it and mail it in again, to arrive the Friday before the election. This system disenfranchises people who have to travel on short notice, who become ill, or who don’t think to start the voting process weeks before election day. Voting technology security is essential. In addition, I oppose voter suppression legislation. It is our government’s constitutional duty to ensure that citizens can vote and that the candidate who receives the most votes from voters is elected.

Ryan W Gallagher, Republican

Education: Juris Doctorate

Qualifications: Former Township Supervisor, local business owner, community volunteer, and life long resident, with many years of experience, and a record of commitment to our community.

Questions:

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?
A: My priorities will be the priorities of the people I serve in our community. In having met with thousands of them, they want a government that serves them by: 1. Protecting our tax dollars through smart fiscal management that looks first to control spending and increase efficiency before turning to tax increases. Items like pension reform and mandate relief are key, along with policies that spark economic and job growth. 2. Ensuring that education continues to be the state’s top priority through not only fair and adequate funding, but also through increased used of technology and improved accountability. We must also listen to the concerns of those on the front lines: teachers, parents and administrators, to ensure we are providing the best education for our children. 3. Providing for the safety and success of our community through everything from measures that combat opioids and address school safety, to economic development initiatives, and programs to protect our environment.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?
A: While there are certainly reforms that can be made to the redistricting process to ensure a more transparent process and better outcome, we must be wary of making changes for the wrong reasons. Far too
often, those complaining about redistricting are special interests (from both sides) who did not get what they want. Providing additional independent oversight, expanded citizen input, and more can achieve many of the goals we all share without turning away from a process simply to answer the complaints of special interests.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to
ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient, and secure?
A: My goal – and the goal of every citizen – with any voting reforms would be to ensure that our system, and every person’s ballot, remains secure. Doing so requires that any change considered is carefully examined to avoid unintentional negative results. I agree with reforms, such as recent approval of online voter registration, as well as increased absentee ballot changes that will make it easier for people to vote by
mail, allowing 17 year olds who will be 18 by Election Day to pre-register, and providing for paper trails for all electronic voting machines.


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Staff

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