Pennsylvania Senate District 10 voters have a pair of outstanding candidates, so whoever is elected undoubtedly will serve constituents well.
After 12 years in the state house, Republican Marguerite Quinn is vying for her first term in the state Senate. She provided thoughtful answers to questions that suggested a deeper and more subtle command of the issues than we are usually offered. That’s the hallmark of a legislator who does the heavy lifting required to master the intricacies of the issues and to craft innovative and well-considered potential solutions — not just solutions that sound good.
Democrat Steve Santarsiero spent eight years in the state house and also is going for his first term in the state Senate. He is quite a pleasant personality and is certainly up to speed on all the major issues. He would hit the ground running.
On several significant issues their views are similar. Both support a nonpartisan citizens commission for the redrawing a legislative boundaries. Both were and are supportive of the hybrid 401(k) pension reform for public employees. Both favor common-sense gun safety laws. Both want more state funding of education, though Quinn specifies correctly that revenue sources and expenses must be closely examined. Santarsiero wants a public-college tuition freeze and a review of costs, which, frankly, is campaign talk.
One area where Quinn has been consistent is that as a fiscal conservative but not just mouthing the party line. She noted the tax amnesty program she was involved in, beating the gaming commission out of funds and audit programs that saved money on the workman’s comp program. This is solid real work, not just talk.
Quinn impresses with the high ratings she gets from environmental groups, ratings unusual for a Republican. She raises an eyebrow with her A-minus rating from the NRA, though her legislation has been more moderate than that rating would suggest.
Santarsiero correctly pointed out the Senate could use more Democrats to balance that chamber. Quinn made a good point that 50 percent of state revenue is from the southeast. The Democrats likely will not take a majority and it could hurt our districts to reduce our moderate Republican share of the majority party.
We need more bipartisanship in Harrisburg, and Quinn has demonstrated this quality in her current seat. It is greatly needed in the Senate, where it is sorely lacking.
WE RECOMMEND: MARGUERITE QUINN
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