Election 2020: What’s on the ballot in Allegheny County?

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Promiti Debi | Senior Staff Illustrator

By Ashton Crawley, Assistant News Editor

Voters will decide on more than just the next president this election. Here’s what is on the ballot in Allegheny County.

President 

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (D)

The Democratic nominee, Biden previously served as the vice president to Barack Obama from 2008-17. Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1973 and served until 2009. Harris was the first Black woman elected as San Francisco’s district attorney and later became the first Black woman elected California attorney general, overseeing the country’s second largest Justice Department, only behind the U.S. Department of Justice. Biden and Harris support the Affordable Care Act. Biden also supports building sustainable infrastructure to increase clean energy. Harris co-sponsored the Green New Deal and supports more proactive methods to combat climate change.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence (R, Incumbent)

Currently serving as the 45th president of the United States, Trump is running for his second term. Pence was elected to the United States House of Representatives and served from 2001-13 and later served as the governor of Indiana from 2013-17. As governor, Pence signed a bill that placed new restrictions on abortion providers. He also signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which many saw as an attack on the LGBTQ+ community in Indiana. Trump supports an “America first” position, tougher immigration laws and Second Amendment rights. His campaign also focuses on lowering the corporate tax rate and giving tax cuts to working Americans.

Attorney General

Josh Shapiro (D, Incumbent)

Shapiro has secured national injunctions to protect women’s access to no-cost contraception and served as the chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Shapiro supports criminal justice reform as well as protecting reproductive rights for women and the Affordable Care Act.

Heather Heidelbaugh (R)

Heidelbaugh’s campaign is focusing on corruption within government, the opioid epidemic and special interest groups within politics. She served as chair of the state advisory commission on selection of a U.S. attorney, United States Marshall and federal judiciary.

Daniel Wassmer (L)

Wassmer’s campaign is focusing on bringing political parties together. He supports protecting the Second Amendment as election law reform. Wassmer was formerly the corporate trust administrator at National Westminster Bank and former assistant county solicitor for Bucks County.

Richard Weiss (G)
Weiss supports criminal justice reforms such as ending cash bail, decriminalizing drug use and sex work, and establishing citizens police review boards. Weiss has worked as an attorney for the federal government at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Pa State Senate District 43

Jay Costa (D)

Costa will run unopposed for the Senate seat. He supports more accessible voting through same-day voter registration. In the past, Costa cosponsored a bill to expand disability benefits for students.

Pa House District 18

Mike Doyle (D, Incumbent)

Doyle supports creating common sense gun laws, defending Social Security and protecting the Affordable Care Act. Doyle has been in office since 1995.

Luke Negron (R)

Negron is a U.S. Air Force Veteran who wants to “cancel career politicians” and set term limits for congressmen and senators.

Auditor General

Nina Ahmad (D)

Ahmad was the deputy mayor for public engagement under Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and supports increased funding for state-supported education programs and stricter gun legislation. According to her website, if elected, Ahmad would be the first woman of color to serve as a statewide executive in the commonwealth’s 233-year history.

Timothy DeFoor (R)

DeFoor formerly served as a special investigator in Pennsylvania’s Office of the Inspector General. His campaign goals include ending political loopholes that allow state agencies to keep taxpayer-funded contracts hidden from public knowledge.

Olivia Faison (G)

Faison is the chair of the Health Center #4 Advisory Committee and secretary on the board of directors for the City of Philadelphia Health Centers. Faison’s campaign focuses on pollution and the effects it has on lower-income communities.

Jennifer Moore (L)

Moore was elected auditor for Upper Providence Township in Montgomery County in 2017 and has also served as the Eastern vice chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. Moore’s goal is to have an independent auditor general to monitor government spending.

Pa Treasurer

Joseph Torsella (D, Incumbent)

Torsella currently serves as state treasurer. He has banned the use of middlemen to win investment contracts as well as created the first conflict-of-interest policy for the treasury.

Stacy Garrity (R)

Garrity served in the U.S. Army Reserve. She also serves on the board of Bradford County United Way and is a trustee of Guthrie Hospital. Garrity supports maintaining the state’s 529 Tuition Assistance Program and returning unclaimed property to taxpayers.

Timothy Runkle (G)

Runkle worked within petitioning programs for Jill Stein in 2016 and has a vast knowledge of environmental issues. He is in his second term as treasurer for the Green Party of Pennsylvania and co-chairs the Lancaster County Green Party. In 2017, he ran for Elizabethtown Borough Council and judge of elections and won the judge of elections office.

Joseph Soloski (L)

Soloski supports term limits for legislators, a reduction in state spending and the elimination of the state inheritance tax. He serves on the board of directors of Bridge of Hope/Centre County.

Citizen Police Review Board charter amendment

The ballot will include a charter amendment that, if passed, would require police officers to cooperate with investigations conducted by the independent Citizen Police Review Board. The board includes seven members who review other citizens’ complaints about police misconduct among City of Pittsburgh police officers.

Voters in Pittsburgh can choose to support or deny the amendment, which would authorize the board to audit the police bureau and change board member removal procedures. The Pittsburgh City Council unanimously passed a bill in July to add the question to this year’s general election ballot.

If the amendment is passed, police officers suspected of misconduct must cooperate during a CPRB investigation. In addition, officers can be terminated if they do not cooperate with an investigation.

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