While the region's voters heavily backed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama and Republican U.S. Senate challenger Tom Smith over Sen. Robert Casey Jr. last week, they voted heavily in favor of keeping their local representation to the state and federal government.
Local voters sent U.S. Rep. Thomas Marino, a Cogan Station Republican, back to Washington as 10th Congressional District representative.
They sent state Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, a Loyalsock Township Republican, and state Rep. Rick Mirabito, a Williamsport Democrat, back to Harrisburg to represent them in state Senate and General Assembly, respectively.
While bushels of U.S. House, U.S. Senate and state races across the nation were skin-tight, voters in our region were very definitive in their ballot margins, from the presidential race on down.
The message they sent was that they are happy with the local leaders they've sent to Harrisburg and Washington but not satisfied with what they are getting from their president and the Senator who is pretty much in lockstep with his policies.
So what now?
Our hope is that Rep. Marino, in his second term, will be able to exert more influence in his representation of the area. Likewise for Rep. Glenn Thompson, firmly entrenched as 5th Congressional District representative. We would love to see Sen. Casey become one of those Democrats who takes a view on major issues that aligns more closely with our area.
Similarly, we hope Sen. Yaw has built up the seniority to become a greater influence in the state Senate, since his view aligns closely with most of our residents, and wish Rep. Mirabito, a well-intentioned representative, would more closely embrace the wishes of the majority of our area in some instances.
We realize we are asking a lot here and we don't advance these requests based on political party agendas. They are just philosophical hopes and principles that we believe align with the majority of our region's residents and taxpayers.
It is not easy to represent our area. On both a state and national level, our rural underpinnings make it difficult to get attention on a variety of matters ranging from health care to highways to business needs.
But we expect our representatives to try that much harder, given the circumstances, to represent our region's majority. And when they do that, we will be the first to wish them success.