PSCFO Election Preview 2016
There are 50 Senate seats of which 25 are up in this election. Of these, 13 incumbents had no opponent. There are three open seats because of retirements: Pat Vance (R-Cumberland) and John Wozniak (D- Cambria) and one, Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster), the Republican nominee in the 16th congressional district, the one being vacated by Rep. Joe Pitts. Incumbents are bolded.
District Counties Who Party Occupation
5 Phila. Ross Feinberg R no info available
5 John Sabatina D PA Representative
9 Delaware Tom Killion R insurance producer
9 Marty Molloy D nonprofit group
13 Lancaster Scott Martin R county commissioner
13 Greg Paulson D legislative aide to Dem. Rep.
15 Dauphin, Perry John DiSanto R developer
15 Rob Teplitz D attorney
17 Delaware, Montgomery Brian Gondeck R attorney
17 Daylin Leach D attorney
19 Chester Jack London R insurance producer
19 Andy Dinniman D legislator
25 Jefferson, Clearfield, etc. Joe Scarnati R local official
25 Jerri Buchanan D information unavailable
31 Cumberland, York Mike Regan R legislator
31 John Bosha D pharmacist
35 Bedford, Cambria Wayne Langerholc R assistant district attorney
35 Ed Cernic D county controller
37 Washington, Allegheny Guy Reschenthaler R district judge
37 Ed Eichenlaub D environmental health specialist
41 Indiana, Butler, Armstrong Don White R insurance producer
41 Tony DeLoreto D restaurant owner
49 Erie Daniel Laughlin R home builder
49 Sean Wiley D health system foundation
The only working farmer running is Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Chair Elder Vogel (R-Beaver). A Senate candidate with a farming background is Lancaster County Democrat Greg Poulson running for the open seat vacated by Senator Lloyd Smucker who gave up his Senate seat to run for Congress. Poulson says that his father was an organic farmer. As a Representative, Senator Sabatina served as Minority Chair of the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee.
Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee members running for re-election are Majority Chair Elder Vogel, Minority Chair Judy Schwank (D-Berks), Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill), Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) – He is Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee –, Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), Andy Dinniman (D-Chester), and Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin/Perry).
There are 203 House seats and all are up for election each two years. 98 seats are uncontested. Those on the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee who are unopposed include: Majority Chair Martin Causer (R-McKean), Minority Chair Mike Carroll (D-Luzerne), are unopposed. The only Representative with a working farm operation is Rep. Mark Keller (R-Perry) who is also unopposed. Incumbents are bolded. Contested races include:
District Counties Who Party Stated Occupation
199 Cumberland Stephen Bloom R attorney
199 Jill Sunday Bartoli D info not available
164 Delaware Inderjit Bains R auto repair shop owner
164 Margo Davidson D non profit
102 Lebanon Russ Diamond R business owner
102 Jake Long D volunteer advocate
194 Phila./Montgomery Bill Pounds R non-profit
194 Pam DeLissio D legislator
137 Northampton Joe Emrick R teacher
137 David Mattei D insurance agent
89 Franklin Rob Kauffman R legislator
89 Christine Tolbert D retired teacher
114 Lackawanna Cheryl Scandale-Murnin R adjunct faculty
114 Sid Michaels Kavulich D communications spec.
13 Chester/Lancaster John Lawrence R legislator
13 Nancy Dean D info not available
40 Washington/Allegheny John Maher R accountant
40 Andrew Zahalsky D oncologist
51 Fayette Somerset Tim Mahoney D legislator
51 Matthew Dowling R non-profit
133 Lehigh Daniel McNeill D retired
133 David Molony R acupuncturist
109 Columbia Dave Millard R legislator
109 Eddie Sanders III D landscaper
91 Adams Dan Moul R legislator
91 Denise Weldon-Siviy D professional writer
99 Lancaster David Zimmerman R legislator
99 Duane Groff D info not available
NOTE: Rep. Maher formerly chaired the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee.
NATIONAL RACES AND AGRICULTURE
Hillary Clinton: “Too many rural communities aren’t reaping the rewards of our nation’s economic success—despite their critical role in our economy. Unemployment and poverty rates present a real challenge to these communities while accessible health care and education are too often out of reach”. https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/rural-communities/
- Create a national infrastructure bank to improve rural transportation and broadband access and grow the rural economy by expanding access to capital; expand the New Markets Tax Credit to encourage investments to prevent communities from spiraling downward after a major economic shift or plant closing.
- Increase funding to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers in local food markets and regional food systems; create a focused safety net to help family farms get through challenging times.
- Assisting farms that conserve and improve natural resources; strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard and double loans that help support the bio-based economy.
- Health: Support for rural telemedicine and Medicaid expansion
- Democratic Platform also includes support for Regional Conservation Partnership Program, support for commodity price support safety net.
Donald Trump: There is no specific agriculture/rural issues tab on the campaign website but he has taken public positions on issues that impacting the agricultural economy. https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions
- Trade: Opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership which many ag associations support as opening trade opportunities; renegotiate NAFTA
- Opposes Waters of the United States (WOTUS)
- Pro energy development with natural gas and coal
- Scaling back “years of disastrous regulations unilaterally imposed by our out of control bureaucracy” and imposing a moratorium on most new regulations
- Continue ethanol and biofuel blending subsidies
- Republican Platform also includes supporting a market-oriented commodity price safety net, separating SNAP (food stamps) from the Farm Bill and removing it from the USDA, and support of Crop Insurance
Jill Stein: Avoid chronic diseases by investing in local, fresh, organic food systems; ensure that consumers have better information about food – country of origin, GMO content, toxic chemical ingredients; ban pesticides that threaten survival of pollinators; moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe; support organic and regenerative agriculture, and sustainable forestry. http://www.jill2016.com/
Gary Johnson: Neither his website or the Libertarian Party Platform have a stated position on agriculture but the Libertarian Party 2016 Platform addresses property rights: “Respect for property rights is fundamental to maintaining a free and prosperous society. It follows that the freedom to contract to obtain, retain, profit from, manage, or dispose of one’s property must also be upheld. Libertarians would free property owners from government restrictions on their rights to control and enjoy their property, as long as their choices do not harm or infringe on the rights of others. Eminent domain, civil asset forfeiture, governmental limits on profits, governmental production mandates, and governmental controls on prices of goods and services (including wages, rents, and interest) are abridgements of such fundamental rights.”