Lone Democrat in midstate congressional delegation faces challenge

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Oct 31, 2016 3:09 PM

(Harrisburg) -- The lone Democratic member of the midstate's congressional delegation is hoping to fend off a challenge from a Republican.

Two-term Congressman Matt Cartwright faces perennial candidate Matt Connolly.

The challenger says he's running against Cartwright because of the Affordable Care Act.

He says if elected, he would vote to repeal and replace the law.

But there are key provisions of the law that are broadly supported - like the one allowing young adults to stay on their parent's health insurance plan until age 26.

Many experts say if the ACA was repealed, the market wouldn't be able to sustain the effects of those popular rules.

Connolly sees it differently.

"If we did have a proper economy that was growing at 3.5%, 4% a year, those kids would be employed and they'd get their health insurance through an employer. Their parents would have no interest or even desire or need to keep them on their health care plan. That takes care of itself," says Connolly.

Connolly's opponent - Congressman Matt Cartwright - says if he was in Congress in 2010 when the law was approved, he would have voted yes, but would have also pushed for some changes.

Cartwright's campaign did not respond to requests for an interview.

Meanwhile, Connolly also supports Donald Trump.

"He is not the most polished individual and I understand that. But I'd rather have a crude person who is a patriotic American than a corrupt person who has no problem managing America's decline if it suits her interest, like Hillary Clinton does," he says.

Connolly is a former race car driver who has also run for state Senate in the past.

The 17th district includes Schuylkill County.

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