It’s funny how closely most local elections are mirroring the national narrative: those who want to bring the economy back “from the top down” those who want to bring us back “from the bottom up”, and the debate last night ran along similar lines. I thought it was funny how the journalist who covered the story for the Times-Tribune noted that the only thing they agreed on was how much they disagree.
Cartwright, a Democrat and attorney, championed himself as a lifelong crusader for the middle class whose courtroom experience positions him best to deal with the toxic, partisan political climate. Cummings, a Republican and owner of a home-health nursing company, touted herself as an ambitious small business owner who will use a populist message to fight bureaucracy in a government she says overtaxes, overspends and under-delivers for all citizens.
In a hour-long back-and-forth live on WVIA-TV, one of the few agreements the two had were there are big differences in their policies. Cartwright called them “vast,” while Cummings labeled them “stark.” One of them will be the new representative in the reconfigured 17th Congressional District, after Cartwright toppled long-time incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, D- St.Clair, in the primary. The new district encompasses all or parts of six counties and includes Wilkes-Barre, Pittston and Scranton.
The focus of our discussion of last night’s debate on the show this morning, however, was on Cartwright’s statement that he’s taking advice from former PA congressman Paul Kanjorski, which was probably not the best move given his poor reputation among PA voters for his broken promises and disconnect with voters. Yep, probably not the best decision.