New Castle News

Closer Look

May 17, 2014

John K. Manna: Voters face few choices in Tuesday’s state primary

NEW CASTLE — The gubernatorial race has been the main focus for Tuesday’s primary in Pennsylvania, but there are other contests.

Voters will also nominate candidates for the U.S. House and the state Legislature, but in some cases there is an absence of competition.

If you’re a Democrat and live in New Castle and adjacent municipalities, for example, the only races you may take some time thinking about are the contests for governor and lieutenant governor.

That’s because the Democratic candidates in the 3rd Congressional District and the 9th state House District have no opposition.

And, if you’re a Republican and live in Ellwood City, you’ll encounter a bunch of uncontested races, including those for governor, lieutenant governor, the 12th Congressional District and the 10th state House District.

This is not an attempt to discourage people from going to the polls on Tuesday, but simply stating the fact that voters won’t have to spend much time at the voting machines unless they decide to plug in a few write-ins.

In a piece this week, political analysts Dr. G. Terry Madonna and Dr. Michael Young lament the fact of little competition.

“More and more, Americans have fewer and fewer electoral choices at all levels of politics,” they say.

They go on to say that the lack of competition is “arguably a major cause” of the dysfunction people condemn in politics today.

There are a host of reasons for non-competition. The most apparent are the cost to run a campaign — particularly for Congress — and redistricting, which favors incumbents regardless of party.

Once incumbents get a foothold, it’s difficult to remove them from office. John Hugya, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the 12th District, admitted as much and more in an interview this week. He believes that if U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus wins re-election in November, “he will never be thrown out.”

Will these non-competitive races have an impact on the turnout for the Democratic gubernatorial race? Perhaps, but this race — with all four candidates running television ads — has been quite visible.

You’d think this race alone has generated enough interest among Democratic voters for them to show up on Tuesday and play a role in selecting Gov. Tom Corbett’s opponent in the fall.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • well.jpg Lawyers to address fracking

    Lawyers will address public concerns about oil and gas regulations and other topics at a program next month. Oday Salim and Megan Lovett of Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services in Pittsburgh and attorney Michael Oliverio of Lynch Weis in Cranberry Township are to present the program.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yauger.jpg Yauger enters guilty plea in federal court

    The former executive director of the local intermediate unit has entered a guilty plea in federal court.


    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lottery.jpg Lottery officials: Seniors should get smaller payout

    State lottery officials say less means more for seniors. The lottery took in $3.8 billion in sales last year and will give more than $1 billion of it — or 28.5 percent — to programs for senior citizens.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • phone.jpg Attorney general warns of phone scams

    Assorted scams in the commonwealth have prompted a warning from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said several scams have been reported to the Bureau of Consumer Protection in recent weeks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • disability.jpg Disabilities group unveils new icon

    Disability Options Network is joining forces with the Accessible Icon Project. Officials of the community organization, located at 1929 E. Washington St., said its new icon will replace the current international symbol for accessibility.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Auditor: State doesn’t have enough inspectors to monitor wells

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.


    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • manna.jpg John K. Manna: Measuring the money

    Should we even bother to have an election in November? By some accounts, maybe the results of some contests are already in.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • shooting.jpg Man injured in city shooting

    A man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday morning following a shooting on West Lincoln Avenue.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • police.jpg Police: Man pulls gun on construction workers

    Construction workers in Neshannock Township flagged down police Thursday claiming a business owner had pulled a gun on them.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage