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November 8, 2016 / olneypost

2016 General Election: Nominees and Ballot Questions


Nov. 8 is Election Day.

The 2016 general election is finally here. You know the big names: Trump, Clinton, but who are the other names and ballot questions you’ll see on your ballot? Here’s a quick run through of the people running for attorney general, senator and representative and the ballot question you’ll see today.

Hillary Clinton is running as the Democratic president nominee. The former secretary of state and senator of New York state will attempt to become the first person in U.S. history to be First Lady and president. Her vice president running mate is Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Multimillionaire entrepreneur and former reality TV star Donald Trump is the Republican president nominee. Trump has never held an elected political position, but he was able to win the Republican candidacy in a highly contested Republican party presidential primary season that had as many as 16 candidates. Trump picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice president.

Little-publicized Independent party nominees may play a part in tightening races and taking away votes from the more well-known political parties. Constitution party president nominee Darrell Castle is running alongside Scott Bradley. Jill Stein is a repeat Green Party president nominee from the 2012 general election, but this time her running mate is Ajamu Baraka. Former New Mexico Republican Gov. Gary Johnson is the Libertarian’s pick to be commander-in-chief with Bill Weld as his vice president.

Republicans currently have a slim majority in the Senate. If Pennsylvanians elect a Democrat senator that may ease the process of passing budgets and laws for a Democrat president or make it harder for a Republican president to pass his laws or budgets.


Katie McGinty, D-Pennsylvania (left) and Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania (right) are nominees for the Senate.

Democrat Katie McGinty is running for the Senator job. She was a former chairperson of the White House Council on Environmental Quality in the Clinton administration back in 1993 and former chief of staff to Gov. Tom Wolf. Sen. Pat Toomey is running for re-election. He’d previously been elected to three terms in the House of Representatives representing Pennsylvania’s 15 Congressional District in Washington, D.C.  Thirty-four year-old Delaware County accountant Edward T. Clifford is running on the Libertarian ticket. He told the Reading Eagle news website that he would limit federal spending and cut down on taxes.  “You should be in charge of your own life,” he told the Reading Eagle. “We live in a society where people are supposed to be adults, they should be treated and act like adults. That means you have to suffer the consequences of your decisions, free as you are to make them.”

Democrat Dwight Evans is running for Chaka Fattah’s empty seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Fattah was found guilty of racketeering. Evans currently serves in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. James Jones is running on the Republican ticket.

After former Attorney General Kathleen Kane was found guilty of multiple felonies for perjury, interim Attorney General Bruce Beemer will be quickly conceded by either Democrat Josh Shapiro or Republican John Rafferty.

Pennsylvanians also have to select a treasurer. Joseph Torsella is running as a Democrat, Otto Voit is a Republican, James Babb is a Libertarian and Kristin Combs is a Green Party nominee.

Incumbent Eugene DePasquale will try to win the auditor general position again, but the Democrat will have to face Republican John Brown, Libertarian Roy Minet and Green Party nominee John Sweeney.

Democrat Sharif Street is the only candidate running to represent the Olney section of Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania state Senate. Street will represent District 3, which includes most of North Philadelphia, Germantown and Roxborough. Street is an attorney and the son of former Philadelphia Major John Street.

Stephen Kinsey is the Democrat incumbent and the sole nominee for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He will represent District 201 in Harrisburg.

Before you press that “Vote” button on your screen you’ll see a question.

The question is about judges and if they should be booted out of their job the year they turn 75 years old. The wording of the question was contemptuous and fought out in Pennsylvania’s courts and finally decided by the state Supreme Court. Former chief justices of the state Supreme Court said the question would be misleading because Pennsylvania courts already require judges to retire the year they turn 70, but the question doesn’t mention that. They say that will not fully inform Pennsylvanians.

Vote “yes” if you want the retirement age to rise to the year the judge turns 75. Vote “no” if you want the retirement age to stay at age 70.


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