Midterm elections — A look at the candidates
From governor to state Senator, this coming election includes contests for several top positions. On November 7, registered voters will get to choose Pennsylvania’s next governor, U.S. Senators, and state and U.S. House members.
Name: Ed Rendell
Running mate: Catherine Baker Knoll
Previously the mayor of Philadelphia, Rendell is currently serving his first term as governor of Pennsylvania. Before serving as mayor, Rendell was elected district attorney for Philadelphia for two terms. He was the general chair of the Democratic National Committee in 2000 and is an Army veteran.
As governor, Rendell has focused on Pennsylvania’s economic issues, especially the need to attract new businesses and sustain existing economies. He seeks to reform education funding to make it more equal and to improve funding for institutions such as preschool, high schools, and community colleges. He has also proposed the limited expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania so that the revenue that residents spend in other states will instead be spent here.
Name: Lynn Swann
Running mate: Jim Matthews
Former Steelers wide receiver and 2001 pro football hall of famer, Swann served as the chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports from June 2002 to July 2005. He has been the national spokesperson for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America since 1980. He now serves on its national board of directors and was president from 1993 to 1995.
Swann plans to lower taxes and reduce government spending to improve Pennsylvania’s economy. His education reforms would focus on doubling the total credits available through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, helping school districts in need of improvement to provide low-income and minority students with greater access to better performing schools, and requiring all children to demonstrate grade-level skills in reading and math before they are promoted to the fourth grade.
Name: Bob Casey
Casey is currently Pennsylvania’s state treasurer and served two terms as Pennsylvania’s auditor general.
Casey intends to spur economic growth by focusing on small businesses, improving the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to provide better workforce training, and focusing on greater fiscal discipline in Washington. In education, Casey plans on working towards reforming the No Child Left Behind legislation, pushing for additional support to provide computers in the classroom and technological instruction, and establishing new scholarship incentives to steer more students, especially women and minorities, towards math, science, and engineering.
Name: Rick Santorum
Santorum is currently serving his second term as Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senator and has served two terms as U.S. representative for the 18th District of Pennsylvania. He is the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
Santorum plans on continuing to provide tax relief to stimulate economic recovery. He supports federal funding for economic development projects that promote small businesses and will continue to work to pass legislation that creates job opportunities for Pennsylvanians. Santorum supports the No Child Left Behind legislation.
Name: Mike Doyle
Doyle is currently serving his sixth term as U.S. representative for the 14th District, which includes the city of Pittsburgh. Doyle is the founder and co-chair of the Autism Caucus, and is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Doyle has focused his legislative initiatives in Congress on promoting economic growth and job creation by encouraging the development of high-tech industry, and he secured $2.5 million in 2002 and $6 million in 2003 for CyLab, Carnegie Mellon’s integrated cybersecurity research and response program. He has also been working in Congress to secure additional federal support for robotics research.
Name: Titus North
North is an adjunct professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s political science department and has worked for the Thomson Corporation since 1989 as a political and financial analyst. His previous activism in electoral politics includes work on Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988, including service as a state delegate.
North seeks to have the federal government rearrange its priorities. He will work toward demilitarization, slashing the U.S. military budget, and redirecting those resources to universal health care and free higher education. He also supports increased funding of existing programs for student aid and feels college students should be concerned about Iraq, health care, and environmental degradation.
Name: Mike Veon
Veon has been the representative for the 14th District since 1984 and is currently Democratic whip, the member who comes second in line after the party’s floor leader. He is finance chairman of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee in Washington.
Veon’s legislative initiatives have included bills improving and protecting the legal rights of workers, providing health insurance for retirees, and modernizing the state’s auto insurance law.
Name: Jim Marshall
Marshall has worked at Ag Hog Pittsburgh Company for 22 years and is currently serving his second term as vice-president of the Big Beaver borough council.
Marshall supports a smaller, more fiscally conservative government. He believes the government should not create jobs but instead create an economic environment in which businesses can flourish.