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A guide to the Allegheny County ballot: Here's what to expect at the polls

The Pitt News

A Guide to the Allegheny County ballot

By Emily Brindley and Alexa Bakalarski / The Pitt News Staff

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A Guide to the Allegheny County ballot

Here’s what to expect at the polls in Allegheny County:

U.S. Presidential Candidates

Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine (D)

Clinton served as New York’s first female senator from 2001 to 2009. She ran for president in 2008, but lost the Democratic nomination to current President Barack Obama. Clinton served as U.S. secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. As a lawyer, a first lady and a senator, Clinton has focused on children’s rights, working for the Children’s Defense Fund after law school and helping to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program. For the 2016 election, Clinton is campaigning for gun control, raising taxes on the wealthy and reforming the U.S. criminal justice system.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence (R)

Trump, an American businessman, has been a reality T.V. show host and a real estate mogul, but has not previously served in politics. Trump advocates for protecting the Second Amendment, boosting the GDP to 3.5 percent per year on average and creating new screening procedures to prevent potential terrorists from entering the United States. Trump’s immigration plans include ending “sanctuary cities” and building a wall between the United States and Mexico.Trump’s trade plan focuses on free trade and includes withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Gary Johnson and William Weld (L)

Johnson was the governor of New Mexico for two terms and ran as a presidential candidate in the 2012 Republican primary election. Johnson supports legislation to make immigration more efficient and to eliminate unnecessary governmental regulation, particularly in regard to the economy. Johnson also advocates for criminal justice reform. Although Johnson is personally pro-life, he is politically pro-choice.

Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka (G)

Stein is a physician and was the Green Party presidential candidate in 2012. She currently holds the record for the most votes received by a female presidential candidate in a general election. Stein advocates for free public tuition from preschool through college, a $15 minimum wage and a temporary moratorium on GMOs and pesticides. Stein has also proposed to legalize marijuana and treat drug addiction as a health issue, not a crime.

Darrell Lane Castle and Scott Bradley (C)

Castle, a U.S. Marines veteran and an attorney, is the 2016 presidential candidate for the religious, conservative Constitution Party. Castle was the Constitution Party’s vice presidential candidate in the 2008 election, running alongside Chuck Baldwin. Castle’s campaign platform includes withdrawing from the United Nations, abolishing the U.S. Federal Reserve by repealing the Federal Reserve Act and not funding Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide abortion services.

U.S. Senate Pennsylvania Candidates

Pat Toomey (R, Incumbent)

Toomey has been a Pennsylvania senator since 2011. During his time in office, Toomey has supported legislation to back police officers, including an act to make the murder of a law enforcement officer an “aggravating factor” in death penalty determinations. Toomey also advocates for responsible government spending, elimination of earmarks and tax reform as opposed to tax increases.

Kathleen McGinty (D)

McGinty served as the chief of staff for Gov. Tom Wolf in 2015. In her 2016 campaign for a Senate seat, McGinty supports a $15 per hour minimum wage, as well as the Paycheck Fairness Act and overturning Citizens United. McGinty also supports gun control and plans to reinstate a civilian ban on military style weapons and make universal background checks mandatory.

Edward Clifford III (L)

Clifford is a Libertarian candidate running for Senate. Clifford supports downsizing the federal government and its authority. He believes each individual should be able to live as he or she sees fit, so long as the person is not encroaching on the rights of others.

U.S. House Pennsylvania District 14 Candidates

Michael F. Doyle (D, Incumbent)

Doyle is currently serving his 11th term as a Pennsylvania state representative for the 14th district, which includes the city of Pittsburgh. Doyle’s legislative focus is on decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil through the development of renewable and alternate power sources. His policies also include health care reform, improved public education and job creation.

Lenny McAllister (R)

McAllister is a Republican House candidate whose campaign focuses on getting away from “status quo politics.” McAllister advocates for stricter border control and consistent immigration policy, as well as for improving education through focusing on students. For criminal justice reform, McAllister proposes policies that protect police officers and American citizens and affording equal treatment in the criminal justice system regardless of race, sexual orientation or religious background.

Attorney General of Pennsylvania Candidates

Josh Shapiro (D)

Shapiro is a former Pennsylvania state representative, having served the 153rd district for seven years. Shapiro plans to address the heroin epidemic by treating addiction as a disease, protect older Pennsylvanians from financial scams and reform the criminal justice system to ensure that prison is not used to hold those suffering with mental illness or addiction. Shapiro is also a pro-choice candidate and has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood.

John Rafferty (R)

Rafferty is currently serving his fourth term as a Pennsylvania senator. As senator, his policies focus on improving the Pennsylvania transportation system and fighting drunk driving and prescription drug abuse. He also sponsored a law to create a new crime category — aggravated arson. In addition, Rafferty sponsored legislation to increase penalties on people who recruit potential gang members.

Pennsylvania Treasurer Candidates

Joseph Torsella (D)

Torsella served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for management and reform from 2011 to 2014. As part of his campaign, Torsella plans to form automatic savings accounts for college or vocational training for every child in Pennsylvania and invest in open data by expanding citizen access to state government information.

Otto Voit (R)

Voit currently holds several board positions, including the vice president of the Muhlenberg School District board of directors and the president of the Pennsylvania Public Education Foundation. Voit’s proposals include a Give it Back program that finds people who have unclaimed property in Pennsylvania and the Having Opportunities to further Pennsylvania Education — HOPE — initiative, a grant and scholarship program to give students financial assistance for Pennsylvania’s public, technical and private schools.

James Babb (L)

Babb has been a self-employed entrepreneur since 1997. As Pennsylvania treasurer, Babb would facilitate returning cash from the treasury “to it’s [sic] rightful owners” and only accepting voluntary contributions to the Pennsylvania treasury.

Kristin Combs (G)

Combs, the Green Party candidate for treasurer, is a teacher living in Philadelphia. Combs’ campaign is based on providing all children with a quality public education. She advocates against the privatization of the American school system.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Candidates

John Brown (R)

Brown is currently the Northampton County executive. Brown advocates for efficient spending of tax money, without fraudulent or frivolous waste. Brown plans to work with other elected officials to create legislation that will prevent governmental waste and the abuse of tax money. Brown pledges to be “a watchdog, not a lapdog.”

Eugene DePasquale (D, Incumbent)

DePasquale currently serves as Pennsylvania’s 51st auditor general. Prior to serving as auditor general, DePasquale was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. His campaign includes running audits to eliminate wasteful and inefficient spending, advocating to the governor to invest in infrastructure and auditing all of Pennsylvania’s economic development programs to revise and eliminate those that are unsuccessful.

Roy Minet (L)

Minet currently serves on the state and national Libertarian Party platform committees and formerly served as a member of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania board of directors and chaired the marketing and the media relations committees for the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. If elected Pennsylvania auditor general, Minet plans to recommend ways to shrink government and reduce burdens on taxpayers while maintaining proper state functions.

John Sweeney (G)

Sweeney is currently serving in his second term as auditor of Wyoming County. Sweeney is also running for state representative in the 117th district, which includes Wyoming County and parts of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. Sweeney owns a small painting and wood-finishing business in Wyoming County.

PA State Senate District 43 Candidate

Jay Costa (D, Incumbent)

Costa was first elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in 1996 and has served as Senate Democratic leader since 2010. Throughout his time as senator, he has supported the expansion of CHIP and Medicaid. Costa has also advocated for increased transportation funding and for stronger public safety and security — including maximum penalties for burglary crimes and no penalties for residents who contact emergency services. Costa is racing in an uncontested election this year.

PA House of Representatives District 23 Candidate

Dan Frankel (D, Incumbent)

Frankel currently serves as the House representative for Pennsylvania’s 23rd district, which includes Oakland, Squirrel Hill and part of Shadyside. Frankel, who was first elected to the House in 1998, advocates for LGBTQ+ equality and against limiting women’s health care options. Frankel is currently the Democratic caucus chair and previously served as the Allegheny County delegation chair. Frankel is racing in an uncontested election this year.

Ballot Measures

Pennsylvania Judicial Retirement Age Amendment

A “yes” vote supports changing the mandatory retirement age from 70 to 75 for Supreme Court justices, judges and justices of the peace.

A “no” vote rejects this amendment to change the mandatory retirement age of 70 for Supreme Court justices, judges and justices of the peace.

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A Guide to the Allegheny County ballot