111th And 139th State House District Race
Two Republican incumbents seek another term in two contested state House races in rural districts in Northeast Pennsylvania.
In the 111th state House district, Repbulican incumbent Rep. Jonathan Fritz, 41, Honesdale, Wayne County, faces Democrat Rebecca Kinney, 59, an administrative assistant for Integrative Counseling Services PC from New Milford, Susquehanna County.
The 111th District includes Ararat, Bridgewater, Brooklyn, Choconut, Clifford, Forest City, Forest Lake, Franklin, Gibson, Great Bend borough, Great Bend Twp., Hallstead, Harford, Harmony, Herrick, Jackson, Jessup Twp., Lanesboro, Lenox, Liberty, Montrose, New Milford borough, New Milford Twp., Oakland borough, Oakland Twp., Silver Lake, Susquehanna Depot, Thompson borough, Thompson Twp. and Union Dale, all in Susquehanna County. In Wayne County, it includes Bethany, Honesdale, Prompton, Starrucca and Waymart boroughs and Buckingham, Canaan, Clinton, Dyberry, Lake, Lebanon, Manchester, Mount Pleasant, Preston, Scott, South Canaan and Texas townships.
In the 139th state House district, incumbent Rep. Michael Peifer, 50, Greene Twp., Pike County, faces Democrat challenger Orlando Marrero, 50, a locksmith from Hawley, Wayne County.
The 139th District includes Hawley borough and Berlin, Cherry Ridge, Damascus, Dreher, Lehigh, Oregon, Palmyra, Paupack, Salem and Sterling townships, all in Wayne County, and Matamoras and Milford boroughs and Blooming Grove, Dingman, Greene, Lackawaxen, Milford, Palmyra, Shohola and Westfall townships, all in Pike County.
The candidates differ along party lines on many issues, including a shale gas severance tax.
Both Fritz, in his first term, and Peifer, first elected in 2006, favor the current impact fee, noting most of its revenue raised goes back to the communities where natural-gas drilling occurs. Both Kinney and Marrero support a severance tax.
Regarding school property tax reform, Fritz said change is “a heavy lift” that would have to be done in steps and the state must cap property taxes on senior citizens. Kinney supports a “fair share tax” on the top 1 percent of taxpayers, and raising other revenue that could go toward reducing school property taxes.
Peifer said there’s no magic wand to eliminate property taxes without shifting the burden to income or sales taxes. Marrero opposes the idea of reducing property taxes by increasing sales taxes because it unfairly shifts the school tax burden to businesses and consumers.
Legislators’ base annual salary is $87,180 this year; the term is two years.
Here are the latest results in both races: