Local races include one with incumbent facing no opposition, another with primary challenge

Pennsylvania’s 2020 primary election is less than 10 weeks away, and according to information on the Department of State’s database, all U.S. Congress and state legislative races in Fayette and Greene counties and the mid-Mon Valley portions of Washington and Westmoreland counties have both Democratic and Republican candidates.

Except one.

In the 51st Legislative District, comprised of parts of Fayette and Somerset counties, state Rep. Matt Dowling, R-Uniontown, faces no opposition in his quest for a third term, having defeated former state Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-South Union Township, in 2016 and 2018.

State Rep. Ryan Warner, R-Perryopolis, will seek a fourth term in the 52nd Legislative District, which consists of parts of Fayette and Westmoreland counties. Harry Young Cochran of Connellsville, a Democrat, filed paperwork to challenge him in the fall.

In the 49th Legislative District, incumbent state Rep. Bud Cook, R-West Pike Run Township, is seeking a third term but will face a primary challenge from fellow Republican Tony Bottino Jr. of Carroll Township. Democrat Randy Barli of Coal Center also filed.

State Rep. Pam Snyder, a Democrat from Morgan Township, is seeking a fifth term in the 50th Legislative District and appears poised to face Republican Larry W. Yost II of Dunkard Township in the fall. That district encompasses small parts of Fayette and Washington counties in addition to all of Greene County.

In the 14th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Peters Township, will have an autumn opponent in Democrat William A. Marx of Delmont. The district includes all of Fayette, Greene and Washington counties, plus much of Westmoreland County.

The primary is April 28.

 

Candidates for Congress and the Pennsylvania Legislature run for two-year terms.

Also on the ballot along with president and statewide row office are many candidates vying to be chosen as delegates or alternates to Democratic and Republican Party presidential nominating conventions.

 

April 28, 2020 General Primary Candidate List

President of the United States – Vote for One– All Precincts within Fayette County

Democratic

  • Bernie Sanders
  • Joseph R. Biden
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Elizabeth Warren

Republican

  • Donald J. Trump
  • Roque Rocky De La Fuente
  • Bill Weld

Attorney General — Vote for One– All Precincts within Fayette County

Democratic

  • Josh Shapiro – Montgomery County

Republican

  • Heather Heidelbaugh – Allegheny County

Auditor General — Vote for One — All Precincts within Fayette County

Democratic

  • H. Scott Conklin – Centre County
  • Michael Lamb – Allegheny County
  • Tracie Fountain – Dauphin County
  • Rose Rosie Marie Davis – Monroe County
  • Nina Ahmad – Philadelphia County
  • Christina M. Hartman – Lancaster County

Republican

  • Timothy DeFoor – Dauphin County

State Treasurer — Vote for One — All Precincts within Fayette County

Democratic

  • Joe Torsella – Montgomery County

Republican

  • Stacy L. Garrity – Bradford County

Representative in Congress – 14th Congressional District –Vote for One—All Precincts within Fayette County

Democratic

  • Bill Marx – Westmoreland County

Republican

  • Guy Reschenthaler – Washington County

REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY –49th Legislative District – Vote for One–

Belle Vernon Borough, Fayette City Borough, Franklin Township, Jefferson Township, Newell Borough, Washington Township

Democratic

  • Randy J. Barli – Washington County

Republican

  • Bud Cook – Washington County
  • Tony Bottino – Washington County

REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY– 50th Legislative District – Vote for One

Brownsville Borough, Brownsville Township, Luzerne Township, Masontown Borough, Redstone Township

Democratic

  • Pam Snyder – Greene County

Republican

  • Larry Yost – Greene County

REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY– 51st Legislative District – Vote for One —

Fairchance Borough, Georges Township, German Township, Henry Clay Township, Markleysburg Borough, Nicholson Township, Ohiopyle Borough, Point Marion Borough, Smithfield Borough, South Union Township, Springfield Township, Springhill Township, Stewart Township, Uniontown City, Wharton Township

Democratic

Republican

  • Matthew Dowling – Fayette County

REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY– 52nd Legislative District – Vote for One

Bullskin Township, Connellsville City, Connellsville Township, Dawson Borough, Dunbar Borough, Dunbar Township, Everson Borough, Lower Tyrone Township, Menallen Township, North Union Township, Perry Township, Perryopolis Borough, Saltlick Township, South Connellsville Borough, Upper Tyrone Township, Vanderbilt Borough

Democratic

  • Harry Young Cochran – Fayette County

Republican

  • Ryan Warner – Fayette County

Delegate to the Democratic National Convention – 14th District – — Vote for Five, Three Males and Two Females — All Precincts within Fayette County

Democratic

  • Casey Konopisos (F) – Committed to: Bernie Sanders
  • Robert Sabot (M) – Committed to: Elizabeth Warren
  • Bibiana Boerio (F) – Committed to: Joseph R. Biden
  • Robert Mason (M) – Committed to: Bernie Sanders
  • Mike Cordaro (M) – Committed to: Bernie Sanders
  • Kevin D. Jones (M) – Committed to: Michael R. Bloomberg
  • Christian Sesek (M) – Committed to: Joseph R. Biden
  • Janice Foley (F) – Committed to: Bernie Sanders
  • Brayden Campbell (M) – Committed to: Bernie Sanders
  • Nate Regotti (M) – Committed to: Joseph R. Biden
  • David J. Deitrick (M) – Committed to: Pete Buttigieg

Delegate to the Republican National Convention – 14th District – — Vote for Three– All Precincts within Fayette County

Republican

  • John Ventre
  • Scott Avolio
  • Jon R. Marietta
  • Scott R. Day
  • Daryl William Price
  • Eric J. Sivavec
  • Guy Reschenthaler
  • Rose Tennent
  • Thomas J. Uram
  • Susanna DeJeet
  • Jill Cooper

Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention – 14th District – — Vote for Three– All Precincts within Fayette County

Republican

  • Scott R. Day
  • Sonia Stopperich Sulc
  • Thomas J. Uram
  • Pat Geho
  • Melanie Stringhill Patterson

April 28, 2020 General Primary Early Specimen Ballot

President of the United States – Vote for One– All Precincts within Fayette County

  • Democratic
  • Republican

Attorney General — Vote for One– All Precincts within Fayette County

  • Democratic
  • Republican

Auditor General — Vote for One — All Precincts within Fayette County

  • Democratic
  • Republican

State Treasurer — Vote for One — All Precincts within Fayette County

  • Democratic
  • Republican

Representative in Congress – 14th Congressional District –Vote for One—All Precincts within Fayette County

  • Democratic
  • Republican

REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY –49th Legislative District – Vote for One
Belle Vernon Borough, Fayette City Borough, Franklin Township, Jefferson Township, Newell Borough, Washington Township

  • Democratic
  • Republican

REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY– 50th Legislative District – Vote for One –
Brownsville Borough, Brownsville Township, Luzerne Township, Masontown Borough, Redstone Township

  • Democratic
  • Republican

REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY– 51st Legislative District – Vote for One —
Fairchance Borough, Georges Township, German Township, Henry Clay Township, Markleysburg Borough, Nicholson Township, Ohiopyle Borough, Point Marion Borough, Smithfield Borough, South Union Township, Springfield Township, Springhill Township, Stewart Township, Uniontown City, Wharton Township

  • Democratic
  • Republican

REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY– 52nd Legislative District – Vote for One 
Bullskin Township, Connellsville City, Connellsville Township, Dawson Borough, Dunbar Borough, Dunbar Township, Everson Borough, Lower Tyrone Township, Menallen Township, North Union Township, Perry Township, Perryopolis Borough, Saltlick Township, South Connellsville Borough, Upper Tyrone Township, Vanderbilt Borough

  • Democratic
  • Republican

Delegate to the Democratic National Convention – 14th District – —
Vote for Five,  Three Males and Two Females — All Precincts within Fayette County

  • Democratic

Delegate to the Republican National Convention – 14th District – — \
Vote for Three– All Precincts within Fayette County

  • Republica

Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention – 14th District – —
Vote for Three– All Precincts within Fayette County

  • Republican

State Rep. Pam Snyder seeking fifth term

Rep. Pam Snyder
Rep. Pam Snyder

State Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Jefferson) is seeking re-election in the 50th Legislative District, which includes all of Greene County and parts of Washington and Fayette counties.

During her current, two-year term, she was elected by her colleagues as Southwest Delegation chairman and was appointed deputy whip.

“I’m proud to bring a rational and clear-headed voice to conversations in Harrisburg,” Snyder said in a news release. “I’ve always put people before politics, and that enables me to help the people I represent. I’ll never stop fighting for Southwestern Pennsylvania values.”

Snyder, 64, is also Democratic chairman of the bipartisan Coal Caucus and a member of the Oil and Gas Caucus.

In 2017 Snyder worked with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to secure mining permits for Consol Energy’s Bailey Mine, where more than 600 work.

She is advocating a bill that would prevent Pennsylvania from joining New England states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative without a vote from the General Assembly. The initiative would tax carbon output and displace coal and gas workers in this part of Pennsylvania.

Snyder also serves on the Steel Caucus, Sportsman Caucus, Second Amendment Caucus, Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Caucus and the Pro-Life Caucus. She is a the founding chairman of the bipartisan Broadband Caucus, and received the broadband champion award from the Keystone Initiative for Network-Based Education and Research, a nonprofit group that helps communities gain access to reliable high-speed internet service.

Greene County’s sole state representative was also named Pennsylvania Corrections Officers Association’s legislator of the year in 2017 for her legislation to ensure every corrections officer has access to pepper spray.

A former Greene County commissioner, Snyder previously worked as deputy director for U.S. Rep. Frank Mascara.

A graduate of Jefferson-Morgan High School, she and her husband, Jack, live on a small farm. They have two daughters and three grandchildren. A member of the Jefferson-Morgan Centennial Lions Club and St. Marcellus Catholic Church in Jefferson, she serves as a lector and Eucharistic minister.

The Pennsylvania Democratic primary is scheduled for April 28 and the general election will be Nov. 3.

50th Legislative District

In the 50th District it was nearly the same matchup it was two years ago at the Genesis of this blog. As with the last 50th District Election, we will likely see the same two candidates. Democrat and Incumbent Pam Snyder received the Democrat nod with 4,139 votes and as it was two years ago, Betsy Rohanna McClure secured the Republican nod with 2,308 votes. As it was last election, they will face each other in the General Election in November.

State House Election Results (11:30 PM)

49th District:

  1. Donald”Bud” Cook (R)- 13, 354- 54.26%
  2. Alan Benyak (D)- 11,259- 45.74%

50th District:

  1. Pam Snyder (D)- 10,875 – 52.72%
  2. Betsy Rohanna-McClure (R)- 9,7 54- 47.28%

51st District:

  1. Matthew Dowling (R)- 8,090- 54.26%
  2. Tim Mahoney (D) – 6,825- 45.74%

52nd District:

  1. Ryan Warner (R) – 11,772- 64.62%
  2. James Mari (D)- 6,446 – 35.38%

No free ride this election for state Rep. Pam Snyder

Two years ago, state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Jefferson, had a free ride on her way to winning a second term in office.

Snyder, who represents the 50th Legislative District, had no challengers back then in either the primary or general election.

But that’s changed this year as Snyder is facing a spirited challenge from Republican Betsy Rohanna McClure, a newcomer to politics.

Snyder, who served for nine years as a Greene County commissioner prior to becoming a legislator, said she’s running on her record. During a forum held last month between the two candidates, Snyder said she’s been a big proponent of both the coal and natural gas industries, sponsoring enacted legislation requiring the state Department of Environmental Protection to receive approval from the state for the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions.

Snyder noted that she was one of four lawmakers named to a legislative task force charged with investigating the opioid prescription drug abuse in the state. She said the task force produced recommendations that are now being implemented statewide.

In addition, Snyder said she’s been an independent lawmaker, standing up to Gov. Wolf in the budget impasse last year. Snyder she was one of several Democrats who went against Wolf, which resulted in the budget being approved without his signature.

A nurse in the Trinity School District, McClure said she’s been a Republican all her life, Noting that she believes in less taxes and more freedom, McClure said she became involved in politics because of Obamacare, calling it an “intrusion.’’

During the forum, both candidates expressed concerns about the opioid crisis with them both agreeing that prevention has to start with young children and making them aware of the dangers of drugs.

However, they disagreed on most of the other issues discussed at the forum, including pension reform, per diems and property taxes.

The board was critical of McClure for advocating the rights of workers to not join unions while herself being a longtime member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association which is one of the most powerful unions in the commonwealth.

The board did agree that McClure was knowledgeable about the opioid crisis but said she didn’t seem to have a good overall grasp of the issues, especially compared to Snyder.

The board said Snyder has been an informed, independent lawmaker and has fought tenaciously for the residents of her district. In fact, some board members praised Snyder for being a “real public servant,’’ calling her one of the area’s finest legislators.

They said district voters would be doing a disservice to Snyder and themselves by casting their ballots for another candidate.

In the end, the board said that Snyder has a proven track record of getting things done for residents of the 50th Legislative District and endorsed her for a third term in Harrisburg.

The 50th Legislative District covers all of Greene County, East Bethlehem Township and Centerville in Washington County and Brownsville, Luzerne and Redstone townships and Brownsville and Masontown boroughs in Fayette County.

Candidates for 50th discuss issues at forum

WAYNESBURG — In an atmosphere of civility, the two candidates running in the 50th Legislative District squared off in a forum last week and fielded a host of questions ranging from the opioid crisis to property tax reform, from municipal blight to legislative gridlock, and from educational funding to pensions and per diems. The two participants — two term incumbent Pam Snyder, D-Jefferson, and her Republican challenger, Betsy Rohanna McClure, a registered nurse from Franklin Township — engaged in a back and forth exchange during the one-hour forum sponsored by the The Mon Valley HeraldStandard,
HeraldStandard and the Greene County Messenger held at Waynesburg Central High School.
Moderator of the event was Christopher Whitlatch, chief executive officer of the Mon Valley Alliance, and the questions he asked were designed to elicit specific responses to relevant issues affecting the legislative district that includes all of Greene and parts of Fayette and Washington counties. “First, there is no magical piece of legislation that is going to fix this problem,” Snyder said, when asked about solutions to the opioid crisis.
She said she was one of four state House members to serve on an opioid taskforce, and while there is so much more to do, there came agreement there has to be education, prevention and treatment. Snyder said she visited all seven school districts in the 50th and spoke to middle school kids. “I wanted them to understand and see the importance of
making good choices, of being leaders instead of followers,” she said. “This is all about communities and kids — educating our kids, making sure we have prevention. And for those who falter, making sure we have treatment.” McClure said as a school nurse, she is on the front line of this. “First, we need jobs and opportunities. If there are more opportunities for people, they will hopefully stay away from drugs,” she said. McClure believes the education process begins in the elementary schools. “We can’t wait to start in high school. That will be too late.”

Property tax reform

McClure said she would be in favor of the elimination of property taxes but questioned where the money comes from to fund schools. “We can’t have other taxes rising,” she said. Snyder said property tax reform and education funding are linked. “Property taxes have to be reduced, but you have you have a sustainable source of revenue to fund out public education system and take the burden off property tax owners,” she said. “I would never vote to cut school funding,” McClure said. She said bringing more jobs to the area would bring more people to help with the burden of the property tax. Snyder suggested that the state doesn’t pay its fair share of the public education system. “They have been negligent,” she said.

Pensions, per diems

Snyder said she does pay into the state pension system. “My opponent says she will not take a pension, but she already has a state pension as a school nurse. I am not doing my job for my pension. I am doing it to protect other people’s pensions,” she said.

With respect to per diems, Snyder said she is reimbursed for hotels and travel back and forth to Harrisburg. “I am reimbursed. I wish I didn’t have to be,” she said.
McClure said she would work to eliminate those per diems. “Many legislators from Fayette and Washington counties do not take per diems.” Each candidate was asked why they became a member of their respective political party, and whether they would tell the audience who they will be voting for in the presidential race. “The Democratic Party has always stood for the working class,” Snyder said. “I believe in the middle class, and I believe in the American dream.” Snyder described the presidential election as an “embarrassment,” and said right here, right now, “I am an undecided voter.” McClure said she has been a Republican all her life. “I believe in less taxes and freedom,” she said. “I became politically active because of health care. “The Affordable Care Act has been an intrusion,” she said. Her vote will go to Donald Trump, she said. No matter who is elected to lead the country, Snyder said when one of her constituents has a problem, they won’t call Trump or Hillary Clinton to fix it. “They will call Pam Snyder, state rep, to fix it,” she said.
The district covers all of Greene County, East Bethlehem Township and Centerville in Washington County and Brownsville, Luzerne and Redstone townships and Brownsville and Masontown boroughs in Fayette County. The 50th includes Albert Gallatin, Bethlehem Center and Brownsville school districts in Fayette and Washington counties, and all of the districts in Greene County.

Election Day is Nov. 8.

Snyder, Rohanna-McClure to square off in candidate forum

By Patty Yauger Herald Standard Court Reporter
Oct 7, 2016

The two candidates seeking to represent the residents of the state’s 50th Legislative District will discuss the issues facing southwestern Pennsylvania during a forum hosted by the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and The Mon Valley Herald-Standard.
Both incumbent state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Jefferson Township, and her challenger in the race, Waynesburg Republican Betsy Rohanna McClure, will take part in the Thursday, Oct. 13, candidate forum in the auditorium of Waynesburg Central High School. The district encompasses all of Greene County and portions of Fayette and Washington counties.
Doors will open to the public at 5:45 p.m., with the forum to beg at 6:15 p.m.

  1. Neither candidate was challenged for their respective party nomination in the April primary.
    Snyder was first elected to state office in 2012 after serving nine years as a Greene County commissioner and is seeking a third term.
    A proponent of the coal and natural gas industries, during her first term, Snyder sponsored and led the passage of legislation that requires the state Department of Environmental Protection t receive approval from the state for the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions.
    In 2014, Snyder was one of four lawmakers named to a legislativ task force charged with investigating the opioid prescription drug abuse in the state. The Joint State Government Commission’s task force produced recommendations that are now being implemented statewide.
    Rohanna McClure, a Trinity School District nurse and community leader, is a first time candidate.
    A Greene County native, Rohanna McClure earned her nursing degree from Waynesburg College and an master’s in education from California University of Pennsylvania. She has served as a case manager for Albert Gallatin Hospice and Washington Hospital, in addition to teaching college and vocational technical nursing classes.
    Rohanna McClure is a member of the Greene County Historical Society, Pennsylvania State Education Association and VFW Local 4793, among others.
    Herald-Standard, Greene County Messenger and The Mon Valle Herald-Standard Executive Editor Michael Palm said a candidate forum allows each candidate to express their views on a variety o topics.
    “The public deserves the opportunity to be informed about the views of the candidates who would like to represent them,” he said. “We believe the questions posed during our forum will help illuminate the issues most important to voters.”
    Robert Pinarski, publisher of the three newspapers, said that since 1690, Americans have looked to their newspapers for information about economic conditions, politics and the comings and goings of their neighbors.
    “The goal of the Greene County Messenger, the Herald-Standard and The Mon Valley Herald-Standard has been and will continue to be to deliver the most up-to-date information to the communities we serve,” he said. “The candidate forum is an additional informational tool for those that will go to the polls in November.”
    Christopher Whitlatch, Mon Valley Alliance chief executive officer will moderate the forum.
    The Alliance — the consolidation of the Mon Valley Progress Council and the Middle Monongahela Industrial Development Association — was created in April.