Chester County midterm elections bring change

By Kriti Gupta ‘21

STAFF WRITER

 

Art by Erica Zhao

According to NBC, voter turnout reached the highest it has been since 1966, with 48 percent of eligible voters casting ballots. In this heated race, the Democratic party managed to capture the House while the Republican Party still holds majority in the Senate. The Indian Post analyzed the results of the midterms in our community.

Incumbent Senator Bob Casey beat Republican Lou Barletta in a heated race for the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat. Senator Casey is focused on making the government more aware of Pennsylvania’s needs and is concentrated on creating sustainable jobs to foster financial security.

In addition, he led the effort to pass the Emergent Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014, which helps improve emergency medical care for children.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Casey supports PA farmers in growing their businesses and believes in the advancement and maintenance of civil rights.

In a statement on the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting, Casey said, “Those of us in public office have an obligation to take actions that can reduce the likelihood of mass shootings” and has recently supported the Disarm Hate Act, which would prevent convicted hate criminals from accessing firearms.”

For the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s sixth Congressional district is Democrat Chrissy Houlahan, a military veteran and a former high school teacher. Houlahan’s priorites include ensuring affordable healthcare and education, preventing gun violence, growing the economy, and protecting the environment. Houlahan believes that education is a basic human right and will fight for schools in Pennsylvania to ensure that children receive quality education to prepare them for the future.

In the State House (General Assembly) for the 160th District, Republican Stephen Barrar, a nine-term incumbent, works to maintain an accessible district office.

He said his first priority is to address the crisis in the first responder community. He explained,“We are failing to attract new firefighters and paramedics into the ranks of the first responders,” which has caused fire companies to shut their doors.

To try to solve this problem, Barrar is looking at ways to encourage young people to become firefighters by adding incentives like tax credits and loans.  When asked what should be done to promote safety in schools from gun violence, he said, “Having highly trained resource officers in the school that would be allowed to be armed would be the best policy to make sure our schools are safe.”

Recently, Barrar supported $100,000 in grants to help improve school safety in the school districts of Chichester, Garnet Valley, Kennett Consolidated, and Unionville-Chadds Ford each receiving $25,000.

In District 158, Democrat Christina Sappey secured a win in the State House. Sappey is focused on creating more jobs and advocates for healthcare, education, and women’s rights.  

Sappey, who grew up in a family of hunters, respects responsible gun ownership; she strongly believes that the Second Amendment should be protected and that we must enforce responsible ownership.

She supports common sense gun legislation like enforcing stronger background checks, ensuring that domestic abusers and stalkers do not have access to guns, and bans  on assault-style weapons for civilians.

Incumbent Democrat Tom Wolf, who has been Pennsylvania governor since 2015, has been re-elected. Wolf invested more in education than any other governor before him and has recently restored the one billion dollar cut to education made under former Governor Tom Corbett.

Wolf is also growing the state’s economy by approving large projects like the Port of Pennsylvania and is dedicated to ensuring that Pennsylvanians have accessible and affordable healthcare. Wolf is also working to increase the minimum wage, while also enabling Pennsylvania businesses to grow and succeed.

The winner of the election for special election representative for Congress in the seventh district is Mary Scanlon. Scanlon is dedicated to quality education, affordable healthcare, legislation to reduce gun violence, women’s and LGBTQ rights, veteran support, EPA advocacy, sustainable job creation, and human trafficking prevention. She has developed programs to help Philadelphia public school students and represented families in the Education Law Center. A priority of Scanlon’s is student loan reform and expanded opportunities for students. In combating gun violence, Scanlon, supports common sense legislation while also maintaining the Second Amendment.

Natalie Kelly, a senior and president of the Democrat Club, said “It felt really great to watch the votes being counted and know I had a part in the results. Even on the local level, when looking at the numbers for my state house district, seeing [the result] come to just a thousand people was amazing because my voice mattered.”

President of the Gay-Straight Alliance, Richard Childs, said, “I felt really, really proud of voting because I finally felt like I was fulfilling an American right.”

Senior Zack Cannon said, “My vote wasn’t toward a well-supported candidate, but I still felt comfortable in my decision and in having made a decision.”

Pennsylvania elected four democratic women to the U.S. House, and across the country, there were incredibly competitive contests where candidates either held tightly onto their seats or flipped the seat.

Mrs. Hunt, the school’s gifted support teacher, said, “voting is important so that [citizens] can use [their] voice. We all have a voice. You might think it’s small or insignificant, but when enough of those small voices come together, they can make an impact. That’s what the voting process does for America; it creates change.”

 

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