12th Congressional District Vote To Replace Marino

May 12, 2019

Voters in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District will choose the replacement for former U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, who resigned earlier this year due to health reasons.

Democrat Marc Friedenberg, 35, a Penn State professor, faces Republican state Rep. Fred Keller, 53, of Mifflinburg, in his ninth year in the state’s General Assembly.

The winner of the special election will serve until January 2021. House members earn $174,000 a year.

The special election on May 21 coincides with the primary election. Unlike the primary election, which is limited to only Democrats and Republicans, voters of all parties may vote in the special election.

Keller said anything lawmakers do with health care must cover pre-existing conditions. He would also like to see more competition and more transparency. He favors repealing the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, a law Friedenberg embraces.

The Democrat said there are ways to cover more Americans, bring down premiums and deductibles and lower costs of prescription drugs, including offering an option for people to buy into Medicare.

Keller touts the tax break legislation backed by President Donald Trump and pushed through the previous Congress, but Friedenberg said it added $1.5 trillion to deficit and 83% of the benefits went to the wealthiest Americans and corporations.

Friedenberg said the remaining tax cuts for the middle class were temporary, but he would like to see them become permanent, which could put money into people’s pockets and stimulate the economy.

Two proposals Keller opposes are the Green New Deal, which some estimate would cost up to $93 trillion, and Medicare for all, which some estimate would cost up to $32 trillion.

He said the nation can’t afford the price tags.

Instead, he favors building a strong economy and helping more people to enter the workforce.

Friedenberg said Trump’s recent proposal calling for $20 billion in cuts to Social Security and $800 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid is alarming.

He notes the group Club for Growth is dedicated to destroying Social Security, and points out it has endorsed Keller.

Keller said Social Security is not an entitlement, it is earned.

“I will do everything I can to make sure that’s safe for people when they retire,” Keller said.

The 12th Congressional District encompasses the central and northern portions of Pennsylvania, including all or parts of Wyoming, Sus­que­hanna, Bradford, Sullivan, Lycoming, Mifflin, Northumberland, Snyder, Union, Tioga, Centre, Clinton, Juniata, Perry and Potter counties.

Contact the writer:

bwilliams@wcexaminer.com, 570-836-2123 x36