News

Q&A with 13th Congressional District candidates

Written by Rachel McDevitt | May 8, 2018 2:35 PM

 

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The Supreme Court on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, redrew the congressional district surrounding Franklin County. (Photo: Courtesy)

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional District has the most crowded GOP primary in the state, with eight candidates. One Democrat is also running. 

To better understand the candidates' positions on the issues, WITF sent the same list of questions to each of their campaigns. Only three Republican candidates responded by the deadline: State Senator John Eichelberger, 24-year-old former Marine Ben Hornberger, and retired Army colonel Doug Mastriano. 

Interviews with additional candidates can be found here

The following responses were taken directly from the candidates and have not been edited, except in the case of misspellings. 

This story has been updated to include answers from Democratic candidate Brent Ottaway. 

 

Why are you running for Congress?

Eichelberger:  At this critical time in our nation's history, it is imperative that we have the right people in Washington to make the decisions necessary to improve our economy, defend our religious liberties, protect the 2nd Amendment, and preserve the American way of life. My experience in government and business has prepared me to help lead the national debate on these and other problems facing our country.

Hornberger: I am running for Congress because I have no strings attached. I am not corrupted by the political system which would allow me to actually stand up for the district and help the people I truly love in this area.

Mastriano: I recently wrapped up THIRTY years of Active Duty in the United States Army, retiring as a Colonel... Serving you on the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, fighting in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm and deploying three times to Afghanistan after 9/11 and spending more than four years away from home on Army missions. 

It breaks my heart that after 30 years of sacrifice and deploying to war, I am passing the nation to my son less prosperous, less free and less good than how I received it from my father.

We nearly lost our country forever in 2016... It seemed like America would forever be lost... as the media confidently predicted a Hillary Clinton victory.  But Pennsylvania... we rose up...in 2016 and changed history

The battle has just begun.  Despite Trump's victory, career politicians continue to dither, debate and make speeches and do nothing but CAMPAIGN on their work time!  We need fighters in Washington, nor more weak, low-energy Republican!  I am in this race for you, for our nation.  I stand for all that makes America great and will not stand aside as radical leftists endeavor to destroy our nation.  I am in this race to fight for you, for your families, for our nation... I have already dedicated my life to serving and fighting for this nation.  My job is not done.  Its time to take the fight to DC and I am ready to report for duty to defend you from the corrupt league of career politicians bent on destroying our country. 

Ottaway: Congress has been failing all of us as extremists from both ends of the political spectrum place party above country.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Eichelberger:  My experience in government as a tested and proven leader. It isn't easy to stand against the establishment or special interests, and although every candidate promises they would, I have.

Hornberger: There are two things: One is my age. Because of my age, I am not corrupted by the system or the Establishment. The second is my service to both my community and my country as a life member of a volunteer fire company and as a United States Marine.

Mastriano: I'm an outsider and fighter like Donald Trump.  While the other candidates talk, I do and have done.  Doug Mastriano personifies I Corinthians 1:27, "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."  I grew up in a lower middle class family where hard work and love for the nation was expected.  I worked as a newspaper delivery boy, dishwasher, and janitor, security guard and pizza delivery guy.  As a young man, I was active in Boy Scouts and earned Eagle Scout.  After this I attended college, and joined the Army.  I served on active duty for more than 30 years, serving 12 years outside the nation, more than four years away from my family and four combat deployments; one to Iraq and three to Afghanistan. 

I am the only award winning author, expert in foreign policy, much sought after speaker, and I am the only combat veteran in this race and will fight for your liberty and freedom.  I will defend the unborn, I will fight for life.  Not a cent of our tax dollars on abortion, period.  I will defend our right to bear arms and to stand against the corrupting influence of leftwing policies determined to drive God out of our nation.  It is time to restore American greatness by bringing God back to America again!  I'm an outsider and fighter in the mode of Donald Trump.  While the other candidates talk, I do and have done as I am a man of action.  I will be your voice in Washington DC and will fight the corruption, and the feckless policies of the career politicians who are destroying our nation.  Just as I fought for you in Iraq and Afghanistan!  I will fight for you in Washington, D.C.    Together, we can restore this nation to the greatness it once enjoyed!  This is our time to rise up and fight!  Eph 3:20!

Ottaway:  I am a moderate Democrat who has been a Republican most of his voting life. The GOP candidates for the 13th District range from very Conservative to very, very Conservative.

 

How do you stand out in a crowded field?

Eichelberger: My knowledge of the issues, government in general at all levels, and the legislative process.

Hornberger: I stand out because I have nothing to lose and because of my brutal honesty. If I am to lose, I will go back to working full time. I can be brutally honest. Other candidates can't because they are tied down to special interests.

Mastriano: As the ONLY man in this race to actually fight for this nation in combat, I can define my cerdentials in Four words: Service, Leadership, Experience and Vision:

(1) Service - A leader must serve before he can lead!  I have served you and this nation for more than 30 years, sacrificing everything to protect our families and our way of life from those who mean us harm.  With four combat deployments and many years away from home.  My greatest service is to you... AND as the only combat veteran in this race, I'll keep fighting for you.

(2) Leadership - While the others talk - I do.  I have led men and women from across this state, nation and literally across the world in the most daunting and dangerous missions you can imagine.  My last mission in Afghanistan - I led 80 men and women from 18 diverse nations... despite the differences in culture and beliefs, I led them to victory.  This is proven leadership - its time for less talk and more action.

I am the only candidate with proven and extensive leadership experience that led multinational teams that delivered results.  I've developed strategies that have been used to maintain peace in Europe and vanquish our foes in foreign lands.  Not just more talk... but delivering results!

(3)  Experience - real experience serving this nation and the people of our district.  While the others hid under their desks after 9/11 I served three times in Afghanistan to vanquish our foes.  The first two deployments happened because I volunteered to deploy.  Too much was at stake to sit home safe and sound after our nation was attacked.  While the other candidates enjoyed an easy life in Harrisburg, or made their fortunes selling real estate, I faced off against those who attacked our nation and killed our people. 

I am also the only candidate with real foreign policy experience.  I have strategic expertise in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, Europe and Russia.  I developed the strategy to deter Russian aggression from attacking our Northern and Eastern European Allies (available online as "Project 1721")

(4) Vision - I see a future where together we restore American greatness by returning to traditional values, and the ideals of duty, honor and country.  We need to stand and fight to restore America to her greatness!  We will start by rolling back regulations of the ever growing tyranny of Washington DC and reign in the oppressive mandates of government bureaucrats. 

Ottaway: I believe that negotiated, fact-based compromise is what most Americans want, and all of us need, from Congress.

What are your top priorities? Why? How would you make sure to accomplish them?

Eichelberger:  Continuing to improve the economy through tax policy and regulatory reform, restoring more control over education to the states and repealing the Common Core curriculum, protecting the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and cleaning up government from within, as I have done in Harrisburg through good government reform and establishing higher standards of ethics.

Hornberger: My top priorities would be to craft Welfare For Work legislation and to restructure the tax brackets. The Welfare For Work program would ultimately cut the number of people that require EBT. Restructuring the tax brackets would give a huge tax break to the middle class that is desperately needed.

Mastriano: National Defense / Foreign Policy
Immigration / Border Security

Infrastructure / Transportation

The United States must recover from nearly a decade of neglect of our armed forces.  Meanwhile, our foreign policy needs to be focused on the existing / emerging threats that face the nation (Russia, North Korea, Iran and terrorism). 

The United States open border with Mexico is a direct threat to the nation and our citizens.  The border must be secured and a wall built.  Period.  Only after the gateway into the country is secured, can we address the flood of illegal immigrants draining away the resources and wealth of the nation. 

Illegal immigrants cost Pennsylvania $1.4 billion last year, with the number as high as $89 billion for the nation.  This is money that could have been used to repair our roads, upgrade our infrastructure, help our homeless veterans, provide treatment to opiate victims and to take care of our citizens.   The insanity of throwing our hard earned tax dollars to people who broke the law to enter the United States must end now.  There must be no reward or incentive given to those who break our laws to illegally enter the nation.

Ottaway:  Many people believe that government is broken and that Congress is too dysfunctional to help. I am a reasonable man who understands the importance of working together with others, even those with whom we have some policy disagreements, to address our nation's problems. My focus will be on improving the jobs and the economy, health care, and education. But this is not a complete list.

 

What's the biggest threat facing the United States?

Eichelberger: Our national debt.

Hornberger: I think the biggest threat facing our country is career politicians that continuously get reelected. We need a fresh pump of blood through our government's veins.

Mastriano: The moral decay of our nation is the clear and present danger to our nation and its ability to remain a Constitutional Republic.  We have become drunk on the intoxicating influence of a Marxist brand of radical secularism.  Moral absolutes are absolutely forbidden, everyone can do what is right in their own eyes, unless of course it is adhering to the precepts and teachings of Jesus Christ, then one is called a bigot and hater by those extolling their biased ideals of tolerance.  We have lost our way as a people and lost our moral compass.  The populace looks to the government to provide for their needs as we educate ourselves to imbecility (Malcolm Muggeridge) and indeed, professing ourselves to be wise... we have become fools.  We need God back in America again.  The same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that all of the Founding Fathers extolled (yes, even Franklin and Jefferson).  The removal of prayer, the Bible and the Ten Commandments opened a plaque of violence from a spiritually lost generation.  French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville  wrote in the 1840s, that "America is great, because America is good.  When America ceases to be good, it will cease to be great."  We need to return to our roots, to the beliefs that made America great.  

Ottaway:  Elected officials who place their own interests and party ideology above the nation's needs.

How do you plan to handle the debate over guns? Would you support expanded background checks or restrictions on types of firearms as gun safety measures?

Eichelberger:  I do not support any further infringement on our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. In addition to what should be everyone's desire to follow the constitution, there is ample proof that gun control does not stop or even slow down violence and crime.

Hornberger: I support the idea of background checks at gun shows. Otherwise, we already have laws on the books. We just need to do a better job of enforcing them. I would not support restricting any types of firearms that aren't already restricted.

Mastriano: The left eagerly exploits acts of violence to demand the end of gun ownership in the United States in incremental limits imposed by law.  Despots and dictators across the centuries endeavored to disarm their populace for the sake of public safety.  However, the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution explicitly states; "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  What part of "shall not be infringed" do they not understand?  Political correctness has forced God out of our schools and out of our government.  We wonder why there is violence but none ask if removing prayer and the 10 commandments had anything to do with this.  When asked in 1863 why such a calamitous Civil War struck our nation - Lincoln replied, "We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown... but we have forgotten God."  Now we stand 155 years since the decisive Battle of Gettysburg... and something again has gone terribly wrong in our nation.  There is NO DOUBT!  We need God back in America... back in our schools, back in our government and back in our lives. 

Ottaway: I support the original intent of the Second Amendment. I am not interested in confiscating guns that law-abiding citizens have for hunting and for protection. But I support reasonable regulations, starting with better background checks. People with diagnosed mental illnesses and those facing protection-from-abuse orders should not have easy access to guns. Dangerous people should not have dangerous, military-style weapons.

What measures would you support to secure the borders and reduce illegal immigration?

Eichelberger: I support the construction of the wall President Trump has proposed, penalizing sanctuary cities for not turning over illegals to federal officials, ending the visa lottery and returning to a merit based immigration system.

Hornberger: I support building the wall. I also support using National Guard troops if necessary to secure the border.

Mastriano: BUILD THE WALL... NOW!  Pennsylvania spent $1.4 billion on ILLEGALS last year ($89 Billion nationwide).  We must control who comes into our country.  Mexico WILL pay for this wall by a tariff on their goods and a surcharge on the money that immigrants send back to Latin America.  If Mexico wants a trade war - they will lose as they have way more to at stake than we do.  America First!  America Now!

Ottaway:  Our borders can be adequately secured by enforcing existing law. The president's ever-more-expensive wall would be counter-productive, even if President Trump were to get Mexico to pay for it.

Do you support a path to citizenship for DACA recipients?

Eichelberger: Yes, provided the individual doesn't have a criminal background, is either in school or working, and can speak English.

Hornberger: I would give them the option to take the test. If they fail the test, or refuse to take the test, they should be deported. There is no reason that somebody who has been here for 20+ years can't take a test.

Mastriano: No rights, special treatment, benefits or path to citizenship to those here illegally.  If you break our laws, you do not deserve special treatment or benefits, period.  Too many AMERICAN lives have been lost by illegal immigrants.  They are a drain on our economy, a burden to our legal system and taking money away from our ability to take care of our veterans, elderly and roads!  Abide by our laws or get deported!      

Ottaway:  Absolutely. And it is a stain on both parties that they've used these young people as a political bargaining chip, leaving their futures up in the air.  

What are your thoughts on Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election? Do you want to see it completed? 

Eichelberger: Given the fact that there is an ongoing investigation into the actions of Robert Mueller, I don't think commenting on what he has or has not done would be appropriate.

Hornberger: I absolutely hate it. Robert Mueller is going way off track and investigating stupid things that are not at all related to President Trump. The investigation needs to end so they stop wasting taxpayer dollars.

Mastriano: I am an expert of Russia.  I can state clearly that Putin preferred Hillary Clinton as President.  She demonstrated utter weakness in her dealings with the Kremlin and made a fortune selling uranium to Russia.  Putin Owned her.  The Mueller investigation is a fraud, and needs to end now!  The investigation has demonstrated that the actual collusion was by the Hillary and Obama team and not the Trump team.  Had I mishandled a fraction of classified material, I would have suffered the full penalties of the law.  I demand that Hillary Clinton face the same justice that any other American would face.  She must be fined and confined! 

Ottaway:  Completing the investigation is necessary to provide Americans with an accurate understanding of events.

 

If the president fired Mueller, what would you do?

Eichelberger: Same answer as previous question.

Hornberger: Jump for joy. It would be the first time somebody in office actually respects my tax dollars.

Mastriano: Throw a party in that he ended a witch hunt against innocent people. 

Ottaway:  I think the administration realizes that they must respect the Rule of Law and that firing Mueller would only worsen their position. Should that happen, I would favor additional measures to get to the bottom of things. I am opposed to impeachment unless there is strong evidence of "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Do you support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress last year?  

Eichelberger: I support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and would work to make the individual cuts permanent.

Hornberger: Yes I do. The next step would be to cut taxes strictly for the middle class.

Mastriano: Absolutely.  Government spending is out of control!  I will start by rolling back regulations of the ever growing tyranny of Washington DC and reign in the oppressive mandates of government bureaucrats.  To get the government off of our backs and out of our wallets!

Ottaway: This legislation was a disgraceful example of bait-and-switch, a blatant admission by the Republicans and the President that they are willing to sacrifice the well-being of the large majority of Americans to further enrich their wealthy patrons.

What about the $1.3 trillion spending plan passed this year?

Eichelberger: I would not have voted for the bill that contains far too much spending including $500 million for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.

Hornberger: I don't support the plan but I understand that President Trump signed it to get the extra funding for the military.

Mastriano: Despite Trump's victory, career politicians continue to dither, debate and make speeches

This is clear by the 1.3 trillion $$$ budget that the REPUBLICANS passed two weeks ago!!! 

Even today, our government is spending 500 million of tax payer dollars on abortions...

Even today... hundreds of millions of your tax dollars is being wasted on gender reassignment surgery.

Even today... the border remains unsecure...

Even today... when tragedy strikes ... we are told that we must surrender our God given rights ... to bear and keep arms...

We must choose wisely... more weak Republicans will end with the same results.  The definition of insanity - trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results

The United States of America is the most generous nation in the world.  But, why are we giving so much money to organizations, nations and regimes that hate the United States of America.  We must drastically slash this foreign aid and subsidies to the UN and take care of America first! 

Additionally, "free stuff" to illegal immigrants must end NOW!  Pennsylvania spent $1.4 billion on ILLEGALS last year ($89 Billion nationwide).  Take care of our people FIRST! We must control who comes into our country and turn away those who should not be here (such as gang members, drug runners, etc.).  Mexico WILL pay for this wall by a tariff on their goods and a surcharge on the money that immigrants send back to their homes in Latin America.  If Mexico wants a trade war - they will lose as they have way more to at stake than we do. 

JUST SAY NO to WEAK / COWARDLY politicians asking for your vote!  No more business as usual... no more Elmer Fudd Republicans... no more career politicians... time to send a fighter and doer to Washington.  Time for action and change... it's time for decisive leadership... and I am ready to report for duty!

Ottaway: It was fiscally irresponsible to an extreme.

How will you make sure veterans get the care they need? Do you support privatizing the VA?

Eichelberger: I have worked closely with veterans over my years as a county and state official. The VA healthcare system works for some vets who need maintenance care and prescriptions, but overall, the system does not provide the level of care most vets deserve. Many problems with prescriptions and treatment occur because of people using both the VA and community health providers. I sit on the Advisory Committee at the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home and see this duplication of services often and understand the problems, sometimes life threatening, it can create for the patient.

Hornberger: Veterans should receive a card like Medicaid where they can go to any hospital and get care. I don't support privatizing the VA. Instead, we just need to fire the executives who are incompetent.

Mastriano: I am a veteran.  I am the ONLY combat veteran in this race.  It is interesting to listen to my opponent's intimate so sort of military service, when most them never bothered to the serve the nation that they want to lead.   I will fight for the veterans because they are my brothers and sisters.  I know their pain and will fight to get them the care and coverage they need and deserve.  I am FINISHED with VA.  It is time to give the veterans a universal health care card to go to a clinic or hospital of their choice.  No more talk, time for action.  They are our heroes and we owe them our respect.

Ottaway: I would encourage the appointment of a qualified administrator to oversee a streamlining of policies and improved service. Privatization of some services might make sense, but large-scale privatization is problematic.

The opioid crisis has hit Pennsylvania hard. What would you do to fight it?

Eichelberger: I have been involved in the efforts to combat the opioid crises and see that state and local decision making is better than setting a national methodology. I would work to make the resources provided to states less restrictive.

Hornberger: We need to legalize medicinal marijuana and also start up faith based rehabilitation centers.

Mastriano: We need a three prong approach to address the addiction crisis in the nation.  #1 Impose severe penalties and punishment for dealers, distributors and producers.  Bottom line - make it too costly to risk it.  #2 Help those caught in the cycle of addiction with government assistance to Christian treatment facilities.  These keep treatment local, reduce government waste and supports ministries, which have the most success.   #3 Punish physicians who overprescribe medications

Ottaway: This battle must be waged on several fronts, including: supporting research that will lead to better alternatives; educating the public; discouraging doctors from prescribing potentially addictive meds unless necessary; shutting down illegal operations; and reducing despair by increasing job opportunities that pay a livable wage.

How should the United States approach trade with other countries?

Eichelberger: We always should make the best deal for the overall economy of our country. I do not think tariffs will help most people. This additional tax on goods will have a reciprocal effect on goods they receive from us and circle back to our country from other nations with higher prices because of their deals with that nation. Addressing the theft of our intellectual property by China should be a priority.

Hornberger: Trade with other countries can be free but needs to be fair. I support President Trump's recent tariffs. They have put China on notice and allowed us to talk to China about our trade issues.

Mastriano: China has enjoyed a decidedly lopsided advantage in trade with the United States for decades.  The World Bank estimates that China left the United States with a trade deficit of over $375 billion in 2017.  This deficit has an immense impact on American businesses and working people and is exacerbated by high tariffs.  This has made the market less equitable for American workers; yes, American jobs have been lost!  Career politicians and Elmer Fudd Republicans have ignored this issue far too long.  While the career politicians dithered on the trade deficit, Beijing has enjoyed every advantage by charging an unfairly high tariff on American goods.  The Chinese tariff is close to 10% on American Agriculture imports and 5% on other American goods, which is two-three times higher than the American tariff on similar Chinese products.  President Trump promised to level the economic playing field with China and, unlike the career politicians on both sides of the aisle, is proving true to his word by taking on this daunting issue.  I support the President's endeavor to negotiate a better trade deal and lower tariffs with China on American goods being sold to them.  This will stimulate business and benefit the 13th Pennsylvania Congressional District and foster an environment where American companies and farms will be more competitive and thereby create more jobs for our hard working men and women. 

Ottaway:  The U.S. should engage with other countries in the global marketplace. The "America First" approach currently being championed by the president will put America behind.

How do you think the country should handle rising healthcare costs?

Eichelberger: We have to repeal Obama Care and return to a free market healthcare system. I helped develop legislation and policy for clinical care for low income people. This could be a national model that provides real care to patients including pharmaceuticals and specialists, and saves money over the traditional socialized medicine system.

Hornberger: Healthcare should be able to be bought across state lines to increase competition and drive down costs. Also, Big Pharma needs put back into their place with restrictions to prevent from overcharging for medication.

Mastriano: Social security would be solvent if the Federal Government did not misappropriate the money that we paid into it.  This is not the fault of citizens, but the corrupt political ruling class who pretend to care for us during the election cycles.  The bottom line is that we paid into social security and the government MUST live up to its pledge to provide the medical care that we were promised. 

Ottaway: The Affordable Care Act was an imperfect attempt to improve health-care coverage for Americans. Overall, many have benefited from the Act but high costs, inefficiencies, and inequities remain. Republicans promised to repeal and replace it. But they never got past the political appeal of "repeal." You can't repeal such a massive health-care plan without having a viable alternative in place to protect the many who would lose coverage. I support not efforts to repeal it but rather, to repair it. And I'll work with anyone, Democrat or Republican, who is serious about actually improving American health care.

Do you think climate change is real or needs to be studied further? 

Eichelberger: Climate change has happened cyclically over the history of the globe. There is a lot of conflicting evidence about any impact man is having. Unfortunately, many on the left have closed their minds on this issue.

Hornberger: It is real but it doesn't need to be studied further. Some of it is a natural occurrence that happens with the planet. Taxing people to death isn't the cure for it. Instead, we should look at programs like the one in Sweden where they burn their garbage and the smoke that is released is only 1% carbon dioxide.

Mastriano: I am a Professor of the Army War College, with a PhD, four Master Degrees and Bachelors.  I published about thirty articles around the world and have been granted research grants.  My works have won awards and are required reading.  Climate Change is a fraud.  I was told in the 1970s to expect a second Ice Age.  It never happened.  I was next terrorized by pop-scientists that once the world population hit one billion, there would be death and destruction of Biblical proportions.  It never happened.  We are now told that Global Warming is on the cusp of occurring, and when the facts say otherwise, the term changes to climate change.  This is a fraud to transfer wealth from West to the Third World.  End the fraud, waste and abuse now!  Now federal funds on this fake science! 

Ottaway: It's a sad commentary on the state of Congress that you find it necessary to ask this question. Climate change is real, it is underway, and it is worsened by human activity. We cannot reach good decisions if a large proportion of decision-makers refuse to base discussion on evidence.

What measures would you support to improve the nation's infrastructure?

Eichelberger: Whatever revenue is generated has to be placed into a restricted fund, like the Highway Trust Fund and used exclusively for transportation related expenses. The formula to return money to the states has to be fair and include not only bridge numbers and lane miles, but the cost of maintaining the roads with factors like truck usage and freeze/thaw damage. An alternative is to have the states simply keep the federal tax money they generate.

Hornberger: First and foremost, we need to balance the budget. There is plenty of money to be spent on infrastructure. However, our elected officials are too corrupt to care. Also, we need to look at rebuilding the back roads and off streets first. Our back roads have been neglected and obliterated for decades.

Mastriano: There are two areas that need immediate attention in the district, (1) needed repairs to our roads and (2) support our struggling agriculture industry.  The condition of the roads across the county and state is unacceptable.  Lives are lost and damages to property caused by the neglect of our transportation network.  The repairs of our roads can be paid for by cutting off foreign aid to nations and organizations that work against America.  For instance, we support the United Nations Works and Relief Organization (UNWRA) annually with about $125 million annually.  UNWRA funnels the money to the Palestinian Authority, which provides three generations of welfare recipients an easy life, while teaching the youth to hate the United States and Israel.  This waste of American taxpayer dollars must end now! 

Meanwhile, the endless regulations created by the bureaucrats in Washington DC are driving our famers out of business.  One farmer told me, "If things don't change soon, there will be a lot of empty farms in Pennsylvania."  Start saving our farms by rolling back EPA

Ottaway:  Instead of providing enormous tax breaks to corporations so that they can buy up their own stock, Congress should invest in significant upgrades to America's infrastructure. Doing so will create jobs twice over--first, as people are needed to perform the upgrades and then, as businesses have a much better environment in which to locate and grow.

And by "infrastructure," I mean more than roads, bridges and water systems. Especially in rural counties like those in Pennsylvania's 13th, we need to do better:  we must improve our aging power grid while making sure that broadband internet access is available to all. Fast Internet service enables entrepreneurs everywhere it reaches; we need to make sure it reaches everywhere.

How would you deal with the partisanship in Congress as well as among voters?

Eichelberger: As a County Commissioner, I worked in a nonpartisan way on county and regional issues. When I got to the state legislature, I found ways to work with Democrats in many areas where we have common ground. I also treated my colleagues respectfully and they reciprocated. We can do a better job of working together in Washington.

Hornberger: I am willing to work with anybody who presents a common sense idea. You can work with others without sacrificing your morals, ethics, or values.

Mastriano: I will note that the only time reporters bother to ask about partisanship is when the Republicans are in the majority.  Never was this question asked when Nancy Pelosi ruled the House, or when Harry Reed led the Senate.  It was ok for them to push through legislation with little to no bi-partisan support.  However, when Republicans are in the majority, suddenly the leftist media earnestly asks about reaching across the aisle, which is code word for us to water down our positions and values.  As a member of the party that freed the slaves, and led the way on ending Democrat Jim Crow Laws, I would welcome any Democrat to reach across the aisle and support ending abortion, supporting school choice, Homeschool and ending Obama Care.   

Ottaway: Americans value independence and self-sufficiency. But we don't make our own houses/cars/roads/food/energy/armies/police/etc.--we cooperate with our fellow citizens. We depend on one another. The people understand this. Why has Congress forgotten this simple truth?

We need to elect more representatives who are willing to work together for the common good. If the voters put their faith in me, they can be sure that I will go to Washington to work with others for the good of this district and the good of this country.

What other challenges are facing the country?

Eichelberger: The social issues facing our country are tremendous and have fiscal consequences. The devaluation of the family and human life has changed our culture and placed the burden of many children on the backs of the taxpayers. Our church pews are empty and are prisons are full, there is a direct correlation.

Hornberger: One of the biggest challenges that our country faces is the problem of bullying in our schools. I would like to craft legislation that would allow the immediate removal of any faculty that knows of bullying but doesn't report it properly. Also, another big issue with our schools is that the unions have all the power and control how teachers register to vote. I would like to craft legislation that allows teachers to support and register with the political party of their choosing. No union should be allowed to strong arm a teacher into supporting somebody they don't like. It needs to end. The first step in solving a lot of problems in this country is by electing people not beholden to anybody but the voters. We as a people need to stop voting for the same people to fix things that screwed everything up to begin with. It doesn't make sense, it is irresponsible, and it needs to end.

Mastriano: Our military suffered eight long years of painful neglect under the Obama Administration.  We must rebuild our force to the greatness it once had.  We are also facing a myriad of foreign threats from radical Islamic terror, Iran, North Korea, a rising Russia and potentially China.  The United States must adapt a peace through strength view in its foreign policy.  We need to work with our NATO Allies (while demanding they spend their fair share on defense!).  This includes having a world class military and demanding that our allies around the world spend their fair share on defense.  For far too long, Paris and Berlin has enjoyed prosperity, free healthcare and free college on the backs of American tax payers. 

Like so many of you... I am sick and tired of career politicians running this country into the ground, while enriching themselves with the fruits of our labor. 

Soft spoken Elmer Fudd Republicans create crippling regulations that crush families and drive hard working farmers out of business.  It's time for change.   They list their political achievements, but can't balance a budget.  They waste our money on pet projects and dump more taxes on us. 

We nearly lost this nation forever in the 2016 Presidential election. But, it was Pennsylvania that gave America another chance.  But the fight has only begun and 2018 is our year... to get back our voice.  It's time to take back our government and to restore the greatness of America.   It's time to get the government off of our backs and out of our wallets. Let future historians reflect on this day that when duty called, we answered to end corruption, to uphold our rights, and to leave America stronger, more prosperous, and more free, for all those who come after us!  Just as I fought for you in Iraq and Afghanistan, I will fight for you in Washington.  

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