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Responding to Sen. Scarnati’s letter to the editor

Robust political campaigns have long history in our country. Sadly, so do mudslinging.

Unfortunately, both were on full display in a recent attack aimed at me by state Sen. Joe Scarnati.

And all for one reason: I’m daring to take on the entrenched political class in Harrisburg by running for a soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat rather than letting incumbent Sen. Scarnati handpick his successor.

As you’ve likely seen given the senator’s bankrolling of his hand-picked successor’s campaign to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, I’d like to allow my record to speak for itself. First, on our cherished right to bear arms: The NRA has awarded me an “A” rating, which goes to those who are “solidly pro-gun” candidates who have supported our 2nd Amendment rights on key votes. I have a record, not just a campaign slogan.

Second, on our inalienable right to life: I have a 100% pro-life voting record and have been consistently endorsed by pro-life organizations.

Third, on fiscal responsibility: It’s no secret high-ranking lawmakers often tack a few good conservative items onto terrible bills in hopes of giving rank-and-file members “cover” to vote for these bills.

And we’ve all seen the massive growth of government that results.

Some lawmakers take the bait. I don’t. I have voted against harmful legislation that expands the size of government, despite a few shiny objects in the bills meant to distract from the larger impact on our rural communities.

Jefferson County voters know both Sen. Scarnati and me. We live within 15 miles of each other. I’m honored that every year I’ve been in office, I’ve been awarded the county-wide paper’s Readers’ Choice award for the favorite local political leader.

This is an honor I don’t take lightly as it reflects the conservative values of the people I represent … values that I share, that I’ve voted for, that I’ve spoken for on the House floor and that I’ve communicated regularly to my constituents through one-on-one conversations as well as through my social media page.

Sadly, I’m not surprised Sen. Scarnati and the Harrisburg establishment have targeted me for things like uncovering billions in hidden “special funds” that cost taxpayers millions.

I’m also not shocked they’re upset that I exposed that Sen. Scarnati’s 2017 gross receipts tax plan would have added more taxes to gas, oil, coal, electricity and telecommunications. In some cases this would have been a tax on a tax on a tax on a tax … up to six times!

Before serving as your state representative, I spent a career in the U.S. military, and I hold dear the Air Force core values of “Integrity First, Service before Self and Excellence in All We Do.”

I’ve tried to bring these values to the House of Representatives, where I’m honored to have a solid reputation among my peers. My votes are never a surprise to anyone because they reflect my values, which are the values of rural Pennsylvania.

These are the same values I hope to bring to the state Senate. My record is posted online and I invite you to view it on my official page.

I believe you’ll find I’m someone that you — the people of the 25th Senate District — would want to hire to represent your values in Harrisburg.

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