Sunday, November 1, 2015

The 2015 Pennsylvania General Election

           The General Election in Pennsylvania this year is critically important, as there are a record number of seats for state Supreme Court open, as well as numerous county, municipal and school director offices on the ballot.  There are the most offices on the ballot this year than at any point over the four-year cycle. 

There are many conservative candidates committed to liberty and good government that is fiscally responsible seeking election to these offices. 

Along with the three seats for the Commonwealth’s highest appellate court, are also one each for Superior and Commonwealth Courts.  These appellate courts affect the citizens in important ways in matters of criminal, civil and family law, as well as constitutional matters.  The balance between the Republican and Democratic parties, as well as between liberals and conservatives, is at stake, just a few years before the courts will be tasked with judging federal and state legislative districts.  It is essential to elect judges who are qualified, impartial, and who love the law and are respectful of the state Constitution, and especially those who would not overstep their role in judging by legislating from the bench. 

There are also county Court of Common pleas judges on the ballot, or up for retention, as well as the magisterial district judges and constables to elect.  Also at the county level, voters will be electing candidates for county commission and “row offices.

The local down-ballot races in this “municipal” election are important because county and municipal government affect people in innumerable ways, such as police and other first response services, codes, roads, zoning, planning, libraries, parks and recreation, etc.  School districts provide education, but are larger real estate taxing bodies than county and municipal governments, sometimes even combined.  As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I am on the ballot in my school district, Reading, seeking this non-paying office because, like other conservative candidates, I recognize how significant it is to the students and taxpayers of the District.

Not only do the elected officials who hold these offices affect people more directly than statewide or federal officeholders, but because the electorate is smaller – and fewer people vote in such “off-year” elections – that one’s vote counts for more than in statewide or federal elections.  An additional motivation for conservatives to vote to elect conservative candidates to county and local offices is to allow them to gain experience for future higher offices, as usually those who hold higher office have started at the local and county levels.  

I urge my fellow conservatives across Pennsylvania to take the time to learn about the candidates for each of the offices on the General Election ballot and to make plans now to vote on Tuesday, November 3.

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