Little discussion of policy positions in midstate congressional race

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Oct 31, 2016 2:59 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A Republican who arrived in Congress two years ago is facing a challenge from a Democrat who is highlighting credentials more often associated with the GOP.

Democrat Mike Parrish is touting his military and business background as he runs against Congressman Ryan Costello. Parrish says he serves as a colonel in the Army Reserves after more than a decade as an Army Aviator, and runs an natural resources company.

But Congressman Costello's campaign has gone after Parrish for financing problems with his home, saying he faces foreclosure.

Parrish says there's more to the story.

"It's a half-truth. What he fails to leave out is my house is not foreclosed and it will never be foreclosed on. In fact, I live here and I happily live here. I am going through a loan modification process with Wells Fargo that should be finalized and renewed here shortly," says Parrish.

It's just another example of how a discussion about policy positions has been off to the side in the race.

Parrish has offered his ideas, including an emphasis on infrastructure and military spending.

He's also highlighted Costello's delicate dance with the Republican nominee for president.

"I've been early on saying that since Mr. Trump disavowed veterans and Gold Star familiies, I've been a vocal advocate to ensure that he doesn't become president," says Parrish.

Costello's campaign did not respond to multiple requests from WITF and his campaign website does not detail his policy positions.

Costello has harshly criticized some of Trump's statements, but in May, he said he would support the Republican nominee.

Before arriving in Congress in 2015, he was a recorder of deeds and also a county commissioner in Chester County.

The 6th district includes central Berks County and northeastern Lebanon County.

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