NEWS AND ACTIVITY REPORT
Get Out and Vote! By Robert S. Carl, Jr. President and CEO On Thursday, October 25, 2018 the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce hosted a 9th Congressional District Candidates Forum, moderated by President and CEO Robert S. Carl, Jr. The candidates forum featured Denny Wolff (D), a fifth-generation dairy farmer and lifelong Columbia County resident, who Luzerne County resident, who previously served the Governor Tom Corbett administration as Secretary of Revenue. Approximately 200 Chamber members and Schuylkill County residents were in attendance. Attendees quickly learned of the significant difference in views of the two candidates, one of who will be our next Congressman. Under a plan imposed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on February 19, 2018, the 9th Congressional District is now comprised of all of Carbon, Columbia, Lebanon, Montour and Schuylkill Counties and parts of Northumberland, Luzerne and Berks Counties. Before the primary election in May 2018, the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce held a similar forum that involved the three Democratic candidates and the three Republican candidates who were looking to represent the 9th Congressional District. The primary election resulted in Wolff and Meuser being the successful candidates who will move on to the November 6 midterm election. It was clear in April and again in October, that the candidates’ views on local and national topics are significantly different. Also significantly different are their plans to represent constituents in the U.S. Congress. The decision of the candidate who will represent Schuylkill County and the rest of the newly reallocated 9th District in 2019 will be determined by those heading to the polls on November 6 and exercising their right to vote. The winner of the midterm election will replace current Congressman Matt Cartwright, who is running for the seat in the 17th Congressional District. previously served the Governor Ed Rendell administration as Secretary of Agriculture and Dan Meuser (R), a businessman of a manufacturing company in the power mobility field,
Both Meuser and Wolff agreed that the critical issues facing our nation and the 9th Congressional District were thoroughly covered in the October 25 forum, including; Economy/Tariffs; Social Security; Infrastructure; Opioid/Heroin Crisis; Taxes; National Debt; Health Care; and Immigration/Border Wall. While all these issues have individual and personal impacts, they were selected because of their critical importance in the legislative agenda of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, which is to advocate for our members. Our members include businesses, nonprofit organizations and municipalities, which all represent our county’s citizens in regard to improvement of the American economy and creation of jobs. Over the course of 90 minutes, sandwiched between opening and closing statements by both candidates, these issues were framed by the moderator and then debated by both candidates. Each candidate had three minutes to address the importance of the topic and propose plans that result in solutions to the problems they feel face those topics. currently faces. It has been evident in the media and substantiated by recent polling that Americans are greatly divided when it comes to the most important of values, and because of that Americans are generally dissatisfied with the state of politics in our country. The divide is very clear. The contrasts in the 9th Congressional District serve as a microcosm of our nation. Similar to the presidential election of 2016, the midterm election winners may determine the future direction of our nation, its priorities and to some degree the outcomes. While we continue to hope for more collaboration and “across the aisle” cooperation to make our nation better, we realize that to achieve that once lofty goal, much more change and civility must occur. Not only are the issues addressed critical to our upcoming national midterm election, but will have long-term significance to the historic political divide our nation
Elections do matter. Get out and vote on November 6. The direction of our country and the values you and your family hold dear may depend on it.
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