The adage “Spring forward; Fall back” is typically used in reference to time. We, Americans lose an hour in the Spring and gain it back in the Fall. But this year, this axiom is well suited to exploring what’s at stake in this election. Candidates, like myself and my opponent Ryan Mackenzie, will either spring Pennsylvania forward by bringing good ideas and reasonable solutions to the table that benefit everyone in the Commonwealth or fall back to the old, failed policies that have brought us to the edge of financial disaster.
I’m a Spring Forward guy myself. I believe that we must understand the failures of our past in order to do better in the future. I’m not interested in slinging political mud that obscures the issues that are important to the constituents of the 134th House District.
Ryan Mackenzie, on the other hand, apparently has been taking classes at the knee of Karl Rove and the Super PACS that believe that their money can negate your vote and buy this election for the candidates they support. Ryan has been in office for less than seven months and it’s already clear that State Rep is just a steppingstone for him to higher office. His constituent services have been less than stellar and the Republicans I’ve spoken to while knocking on doors have overwhelmingly expressed their disappointment that he is not at all visible in the district, preferring his Harrisburg cronies to actually communicating with the people of this district. To a person, their position on Ryan is that “he’s no Doug Reichley”.
I have to agree with that description. Living in Emmaus the last four years, I didn’t always agree with Doug on the issues, but I was 100% confident that if I, as one of his constituents, needed help, Doug would be there. In fact, Doug knocked on doors even in years when he wasn’t up for reelection. He was the model of someone committed to servicing his constituents.
When Patrick Slattery decided against running again for this seat, I stepped up and was selected to replace him on the ballot. I didn’t put myself forward because I’m a career politician used to the ways of Harrisburg—I’m not. This is the very first time I’ve ever run for office.
I put myself forward because I wanted to make sure the people of the 134th were given a real choice on the ballot.
As a father, husband, and small business owner, I know the struggles that face our working families every single day of the year, from how to help autistic children like my six year old son Will, (now that the budget cuts Gov. Corbett and Ryan put in place have gutted our education system and shifted the tax burden from the state to local school districts), to our crumbling infrastructure, and the environmental challenges that natural gas drilling poses.
My twenty years in the private sector have shaped how I see the world and how I see government. Government is a tool created by and for the people. For government to work and work well, bureaucracy must not overwhelm efficiency. Politicians must remember that they don’t work for either party—they work for you. And everyone in this district knows how hard Doug Reichley worked; if there was an elementary school graduation, a parade, a disaster he was there. We could count on him.
It is my honor to ask for your vote in tomorrow's election. If you elect me to be your state representative, Doug Reichley will be my model for how to serve you best and I will always remember that I work for the people of the 134th district.