Election Day in the 85th

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In less than a week, the campaigns will be over and residents of much of Snyder County and a big chunk of Union County will have a new assembly member representing them in Harrisburg.  Frankly, when we first heard about this quickly called mid-August election, we had some concern that the hubbub of vacations, back-to-school duties and other late summer distractions might lead to voter confusion and potentially cause a low turnout election.
But honestly, we did personally ask the Speaker of the PA House, Mike Tarzai (R-Allegheny County) to please consider an expedited election cycle to fill the seat vacated when our native son Fred Keller was elected to the U.S. Congress.  So, we got what we asked for and we’re grateful for it.  A few of your fellow members have asked me who the Chamber is supporting in next Tuesday’s election. 
The short answer to this question is: We’re not.  However, to give this question a better answer, let me explain that the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan organization which has no Political Action Committee (better known as a PAC) attached to it. 
It’s possible that there’s been some confusion because, on the other hand, an organization called the ChamberPAC, which is the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry has made an endorsement in this race.  Most hometown and regional Chambers of Commerce in our state are members of the PA Chamber.
After surveying the candidates, ChamberPAC announced its endorsement of Republican David Rowe for state representative of the 85th House District late last month.  Word-for-word, here’s what the ChamberPAC had to say in their official endorsement:
“David’s combined experience in both the private sector and local government give him a unique perspective of what is needed to move Pennsylvania’s economy forward,” PA Chamber President Gene Barr said. Barr added that, “As a small business owner, David understands the challenges job creators face in the Commonwealth.  He will be a champion for pro-business policies that will help to grow the private sector and increase economic opportunities across the Commonwealth.”

“David Rowe is a well-rounded candidate who will work hard to make Pennsylvania a prime location for employers to invest and grow. On behalf of the Pennsylvania Chamber’s broad-based membership, ChamberPAC urges voters in the 85th House District to support David Rowe in the upcoming special election on August 20th,” Barr concluded.
Hopefully, this clears up any confusion about how Chamber endorsements work.  What I can unequivocally add to this discussion is my strong wish and total endorsement that every registered voter in the 85th Legislative District will get out to vote next Tuesday, August 20th.
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