Women eye House seats across 12th district

Plenty of women are eyeing state House seats across the 12th Congressional District, including those serving Lycoming County residents. Some of them appeared last week at the Lycoming County Democratic Women picnic at Susquehanna State Park to share their political views and solicit votes.

Linda Sosniak, 84th state House candidate, told those gathered under a pavilion that she wants to create more opportunities for people. She said she stands for job creation, education and the environment.

The retired postal worker and Picture Rocks resident called public schools the “backbone of our country” while calling for increased funding for education.

“We need to re-invest in public education,” she said.

She also supports expansion of the broadband network to rural communities and a hike to the minimum wage.

“What drives the local economy is what people have in their pockets,” she said.

Sosniak, seeking to unseat incumbent Republican Garth Everett, said she is a pro-union candidate who does not support right-to-work legislation.

She urged her listeners to get behind their candidates.

“I am asking every one of you to rise up together,” she said. “Together we can change central Pennsylvania.”

Airneezer Page said she has a love for family and her community — values that are important to area residents.

Page, seeking the seat held by state Rep. Jeff Wheeland, R-Loyalsock Township, said she is concerned about the under-served. She noted that many people in the 83rd Legislative District require government assistance such as food stamps.

“I care about the economic status of our community,” she said.

A former licensed practical therapist assistant and a military veteran, Page said she believes in the Second Amendment, but also in protecting people.

Page said in assessing any candidate, a voter should ask, “Will they represent me well? Will they care about families?”

Lycoming County Commissioner Rick Mirabito also spoke to the audience, urging everyone to work hard for their candidates.

“We need Republican votes,” he told the partisan Democratic audience. “Don’t get deluded into thinking otherwise.”

Morgan Allyn, a Democratic women spokeswoman and Sosniak supporter, said people need better representation in state government. She said getting women elected to office will take the work of many women making it happen.

Williamsport City Councilman Derek Slaughter urged all candidates to stay the course and stick to their values.

Other Democrats speaking at the picnic included 68th state House candidate Carrie Heath.

Heath, a special education teacher from Tioga County, said she seeks to bring better mental health services and improved infrastructure to her district.

“When people tell you that you can’t do something because you’re a woman, don’t believe them,” she said.

Dr. Jenn Rager-Kay said she already takes care of many of the people of the 85th Legislative District as a physician at Sunbury Community Hospital. Now, she wants to take care of them as a lawmaker.

She said one reason she’s running for office is to ensure that Fred Keller, the incumbent Republican, doesn’t run uncontested.

“I think we’ve lost our basic morality of taking care of each other,” she said. “I’m tired of partisan politics.”

Erin Condo McCracken, seeking the 171st House seat, said she’s running to serve the people.

“I’m running because our system is broken,” she said.

She called corporate funding of campaigns a big problem and noted that her Republican opponent, longtime incumbent Kerry Benninghoff, “would cut off his arms to get rid of unions.”