The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 2, 2008

72nd district candidates to speak tonight

Seven Democrats and one Republican seeking to replace state Rep. Tom Yewcic will have the chance to meet the public and explain their platforms at a forum tonight sponsored by The Tribune-Democrat and WJAC-TV.

The meeting begins at 7 in the Windber High School auditorium.

“The residents of our region face very important decisions in the upcoming election,” Tribune-Democrat Editor Chip Minemyer said. “By 2009, we will have three new state legislators representing our communities in Harrisburg.

“We wanted to give the voters another opportunity to meet the candidates before the April 22 primary so that they can make informed decisions – and we wanted to give these candidates another opportunity to get their messages out to voters.”

This is the last of three forums for House races in Cambria and Somerset counties, all involving districts where veteran state lawmakers are retiring.

In addition to Yewcic, state Reps. Ed Wojnaroski, D-Johnstown, and Bob Bastian, R-Somerset, are leaving office.

Candidates for Yewcic’s 72nd Legislative District seat include Republican Chris Voccio of Upper Yoder Township, who has no opposition in the primary.

Democrats competing in the primary are Frank Burns of East Taylor Township, a township supervisor who also conducts seminars for a cosmetic dentistry firm; David Gehlman of Upper Yoder Township, businessman and operator of the Johnstown Municipal Golf Course; Dave Kuhar of Ebensburg, golf professional and member of Ebensburg Borough Council; Jared Lambie of Cambria Township, tea-cher; James Lamont of Ebensburg, United Mine Workers safety representative; Nick Molnar of Jackson Township, retired UMW District 2 executive; and Stephen Yesenosky of Ebensburg, who resigned as a district justice in 1993.

In Cambria County, the district includes the Ebensburg region south to Middle Taylor and Upper and Lower Yoder townships. In Somerset County, it covers Windber, Conemaugh Township, Shade-Central City School District and part of North Star School District.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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