The 2010 mid-term elections came and went on Tuesday, November 2. Some people went out and voted for Pennsylvania’s future Governor, Senator, and House Representatives; while others were unable to or just chose not to take advantage of a right given to them as United States citizens.
Preliminary polls from over six months ago predicted the GOP takeover of congress. Quotes like, “Dem-o-lition Tuesday” were thrown about the popular media to signify the up-coming loss of Democratic majority and power. On a smaller scale, one more prevalent to us, Pennsylvania experienced quite a few political changes itself.
Republican Tom Corbett was elected to succeed Democrat Ed Rendell as Pennsylvania’s new Governor by a vote of 54.5% to Dan Onorato’s 45.5%.
Born on June 17, 1949, Corbett is a local to the Philadelphia area. He received his undergraduate degree from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, and his law degree from St. Mary’s University of Law in San Antonio, Texas. Corbett served in the Pennsylvania National Guard between 1971 and 1984.
From 1984 to 2003, Corbett was in and out of the political arena, fumbling between private law practice, District Attorney of Western Pennsylvania, the substitute Attorney General for two years (the other guy was convicted of mail fraud), and then back to private practice again.
In 2004, he won the Pennsylvania Attorney General election and was re-elected in 2008 with the largest vote total of any Republican in the state’s history.
Now, as the Governor-elect, Corbett has many plans for his home state when he enters office on January 11, 2011. As Governor, Corbett’s number one priority lies in generating jobs in Pennsylvania.
His vision is that, by creating family-sustaining employment opportunities, Pennsylvania’s economy can recover from the nationwide recession and grow as a financially stable state. He seeks to accomplish this through an educational system that prepares students for the jobs of today and well into the future. Corbett wants education to be a unified and equal opportunity system that is no longer attached to a child’s zip code or economic status, but rather guarantees effective teachers and the best possible learning environment to all of Pennsylvania’s students.
He is also a strong advocate for empowering people with special needs by providing them the services essential to their success. He plans to modernize Medicaid to further support citizens with intellectual disabilities, behavioral health needs, physical disabilities, and autism.
Beyond these aspects, Tom Corbett has many plans to improve Pennsylvania’s environment, agriculture, and healthcare, as well as developing Pennsylvania’s energy potential to reduce dependence on foreign oil and make energy affordable to all. Lastly, but certainly not least, something that will hopefully improve the lives (or at least agitation) of anyone who is forced to drive to West Chester on Route 202; Corbett wants to enhance local funding for transportation improvement projects, which hopefully means that someday commuters on 202 won’t have to leave 30 minutes early to account for the time they will be spending in traffic between Paoli Pike and the High Street exit.
Following his November 2 victory, Tom Corbett announced, “We are going to work together to get Pennsylvania back on track and put the people of this great state first. We can rebuild Pennsylvania . and we will do it together!”
But will we?
Pennsylvania’s Mid-Term elections also include the bid for who will represent Pennsylvania in the United States Senate. Succeeding Democrat Arlen Specter will be Republican Patrick Toomey who defeated Joe Sestak 51% to 49%.
Toomey was born in Providence, Rhode Island and graduated from Harvard University with a political science degree. Once out of college, he spent six years dabbling with currency related issues for companies like Chemical Bank and J.P. Morgan & Co., but resigned when Deutsche Bank acquired J.P. Morgan because he felt that Deutsche Bank “decreased flexibility and entrepreneurship.”
That turned out to be good news for residents of Allentown, Pennsylvania, though. After leaving the banking and financial world, Toomey went on to open a great restaurant in 1991 called ‘Rookies Restaurant.’ Pat began his political career in 1997 when he became impatient with the huge tax burdens imposed on his restaurant and on other small businesses in Pennsylvania. He campaigned, won, and was re-elected two more times to represent a seat for Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2005.
From 2005 to 2009 he was the president of ‘Club for Growth’; an organization that advocates limited government and personal freedom.
Toomey is a strong supporter of pro-life organizations, increased school choice and charter schools, as well as reducing gun regulations.
Environmentally, Toomy supports the legislation to speed up forest thinning and opposes mandates to increase fuel efficiency standards.
As a congressman, he voted to ban same-sex marriage and opposed the passage of the ‘Medicare Prescription Drug Act’ signed by George W. Bush in 2003. As of January 3, 2011, Patrick Toomey will represent one of Pennsylvania’s two senatorial votes in congress, the other vote belongs to Democrat Bob Casey Jr. who will become the state’s senior senator when Specter leaves office.
Although the senator position does not hold the same executive power as the governor, these two men will be representing the vote of about 12.5 millionPennsylvania residents in Washington D.C. Which way will Patrick Toomey sway during congressional voting? Way right.
The 2010 Pennsylvania mid-term elections also include voting for the House Representatives from each of Pennsylvania’s 19 congressional districts; the awards go to Robert Brady (D), Chaka Fattah (D), George Kelly (R), Jason Altmire (D), Glenn Thompson (R), Jim Gerlach (R), Patrick Meehan (R), Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R), Bill Shuster (R), Thomas Marino (R), Lou Barletta (R), Mark Critz (D), Allyson Schwartz (D), Michael Doyle (D), Charles Dent (R), Joseph Pitts (R), T. “Tim” Holden (D), Tim Murphy (R), and Todd Platts (R).
The final tally for Pennsylvania’s 2010 mid-term election is this: New Governor-elect Republican Tom Corbett, U.S. Senate-elect Patrick Toomey, and a majority Republican 12 to 7 House of Representatives.
There is also Senator, Democrat Bob Casey Jr., who will replace current senior Senator Arlen Specter.
On a national level, the U.S. Senate remains majority Democrat with a 53-47 result and the Republicans gaining six seats.
The House of Representatives took a huge turn with the Democrats losing sixty seats to the Republicans. The “Grand Old Party” now secures 239 seats compared to the Democrats 196 seats.
Laura Schiavo is a second year student. She can be reached at LS688990@wcupa.edu