The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 31, 2012

Barbin gets nod in 71st

The Tribune-Democrat

— Bryan Barbin has campaigned three times for the state House seat in the 71st Legislative District, and in each case has faced a stiff challenge.

This time around it’s from Sherry Stalley, a longtime familiar face as a television anchor and reporter.

In an interview with our editorial board, Barbin chose to focus on problems in his home district and in Harrisburg, rather than on the pending campaign.

He talked about election reform and term limits for House and Senate members, saying he has sponsored legislation on both issues, but noted that “they have to be pushed by the people.”

He discussed the welfare system and the needs of the elderly. On education, he said “there should be some choice,” but that at the same time there needs to be more oversight of charter schools and their spending practices. He said he would continue fighting any plan that would “bankrupt the public-education system.”

While saying he isn’t taking a pension from state government, he acknowledged that the state’s pension system is in a crisis and he has put plans on the table to address the situation.

Stalley, too, said she would fight for more dollars for public education. She also “absolutely supports” term limits – “get in, get the job done and get out,” she said. But she maintained her top priority would be jobs. “I know what it is like to lose a job,” she said, noting that her current job is campaigning for office.

Stalley also took a swipe at her opponent, saying “(Barbin) talks about bringing funding in for job creation. Where is he creating these jobs? For 18 years, I have known the pulse of this community. As a reporter you can tell people what is wrong but you can’t do anything about it. I can as a legislator.”

Stalley is feisty and bold and recognizes the problems our area faces. If she has specific ideas for fixing those problems, she needs to tell the voters.

Barbin is aware of the problems our government and region face, and he’s able to present plausible plans to address them.

We’ve been very impressed with Bryan Barbin and we once again give him our strong endorsement. We urge voters in the 71st district to give him another two years. 

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