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We need growing influence in state, federal governments

It’s far easier to get to know candidates for public office on the local level.

They are members of our communities and we get to know them in person, at least when we’re not in pandemic-imposed lock down.

They take time to talk to us. They don’t shy away from questions about issues of importance in our backyard.

They represent us.

In Tuesday’s election, voters will elect their representation in the state House and Senate, as well as Congress.

There is much at stake when it comes to our region, to our economy, to our future.

Now, more than ever, we need congressmen like Republican Fred Keller who understand the importance of natural gas and fossil fuels to our region, to Pennsylvania and to the nation overall. We cannot afford to have the energy industry in Central Pennsylvania negatively impacted.

Though the 12th Congressional District spans a large swath of Northcentral Pennsylvania, Keller knows us. He has had a strong presence here in his first term, with frequent visits to tour local businesses, meet with local leaders and learn about our needs.

And our needs are many, particularly with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Republicans Jeff Wheeland, incumbent in the 83rd state House District, and Gene Yaw, incumbent in the 23rd state Senate District, have pushed for safe and faster reopening of businesses , as well as safe reopening for schools and school athletics, having confidence that our businesses, schools and their constituents can heed the call to caution … and protection.

We endorse Keller, Wheeland and Yaw for re-election on Tuesday.

We also endorse Republican Joe Hamm for election to a first term in the 84th state House District, from which hard-working Republican Rep. Garth Everett is bowing out.

Hamm’s experience reveals a knowledge of how government works and will go to Harrisburg with a realistic idea of how to get things done for the people of the 84th District.

We hope he is as transparent and communicative as Everett has been.

Hamm has served as Jersey Shore borough manager and Hepburn Township supervisor. He also has served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and his resume includes a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Lock Haven University.

Northcentral Pennsylvania wants and needs clout in Harrisburg.

And we expect our elected leaders to work across the political aisle.

After all, we can better overcome our challenges by working together.

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