Friel looks to end Hennessey’s 26th Dist. incumbency at 13 terms | News

The race for the 26th District seat on the Pennsylvania Home of Representatives pits an incumbent Republican looking for his 14th time period in workplace in opposition to Owen J. Roberts Faculty Board member Paul Friel, a Democrat looking for state workplace for the primary time.

Apart from the southern portion of Pottstown, all the 26th Home District is within the following Chester County municipalities: The townships of East Coventry, East Nantmeal, East Vincent, Honey Brook, North Coventry, South Coventry, Wallace, Warwick, West Caln, West Nantmeal, West Sadsbury and the boroughs of Elverson and Honey Brook.

Earlier than attending to the autumn election, Friel first needed to win the Democratic primary where he faced Frank Gillen, which Friel won handily.

Hennessey at present is probably the most senior Republican within the Pennsylvania Home of Representatives. First elected in 1992, Hennessey, 72, has served as a state consultant for 27 years.

Each candidates have been supplied with equivalent questionnaires and their responses are featured right here within the order by which they have been obtained.

Tim Hennessey

Tim Hennessey

Hennessey, 72, is a graduate of the previous St. Pius X Excessive Faculty, St. Joseph’s College and Villanova Legislation Faculty. He beforehand served as North Coventry Township’s solicitor for 15 years.

He highlighted his constituent service and constant voting document when requested why he has determined to hunt one other time period.

“I imagine that I proceed to be efficient in acquiring outcomes for individuals who need assistance with authorities businesses, which have an effect on their lives each day. Whether or not its correcting a mistake in a motorists document with PennDOT or qualifying somebody for unemployment compensation after theyve been misplaced within the system and getting the system to work correctly continues to be rewarding, particularly for the constituent,” Hennessey wrote.

“With the ability to use my longevity in workplace and the relationships of belief that Ive constructed to efficiently course of grant requests after which ship tens of millions in state funding for very vital and deserving public initiatives helps enhance the communities within the 26th District,” he wrote, including, “I proceed to be efficient, having led the struggle to save lots of the Rover and TransNet transit methods in Chester and Montgomery Counties, in order that veterans, the aged and the disabled can journey to medical appointments, to buy groceries and even to go to household and buddies. And because the Chair of Getting old & Older Grownup Providers, I used to be additionally probably the most vocal advocate for conserving the Division of Getting old as a Cupboard-level company and a powerful voice for our aged.”

Hennessey added, “and Im additionally a constant presence in Harrisburg. I used to be absent solely two days within the present 2019-2020 legislative session, with a 98 % voting document.”

Requested to decide on a assured theoretical accomplishment if reelected, Hennessey wrote: “The perfect reward for our residents could be to efficiently change the Pennsylvania Structure to permit our seniors to be relieved of the college tax burden and to permit some variety from absolutely the rigidity of the uniformity provision.”

He wrote that “one method to transfer in that course is to undertake my proposal for an across-the-board tax rebate return of a sliding proportion of taxes paid by householders and renters, with these with smaller incomes getting the biggest rebates. I pitched this concept to Governor Wolf and he was excited by its potential, however then he was talked out of it by his advisors, who favored giant broad-based tax will increase; proposals that went nowhere.”

Requested how he would set himself aside from his opponent, Hennessey wrote: “My document of manufacturing for my constituents units me aside from my opponent. Ive resisted rising state spending and fought in opposition to pointless tax will increase, whereas my opponent has voted twice to extend Owen J. Roberts Faculty District property taxes in his first six months on the Faculty Board.”

Wrote Hennessey, “in our present state of affairs, with the COVID-19 virus shutting so many companies down and other people struggling to get unemployment compensation and to outlive on the decreased revenue, it was a horrible time for him to lift taxes on all of us. Elevating taxes ought to be the final resort, however for him, it was an early selection, and the fallacious one. Even Pottstown Faculty District had the great sense to not elevate taxes, particularly now.”

Hennessey concluded “in his latest political advert, he makes the declare that the state has ‘lower’ funding to our public faculties, however Pennsylvania has elevated funding for our public faculties yearly. We’ve got by no means decreased it. However some faculty boards elevate their budgets yearly, after which attempt to blame the state for any shortfall. They should maintain the road on spending. Actually, Pennsylvania spends 40 % of our state funds on Okay-12 training, and one other 40 % on Human Providers, leaving us to run all the remainder of authorities on the remaining 20,” he wrote.

Paul Friel

Paul Friel

Paul Friel

Friel, 51, has a level in worldwide and enterprise regulation from Temple College and a masters in management and administration, from American Faculty.

He’s the proprietor and a associate in PACE Environmental, an environmental know-how and testing firm.

In his response to a MediaNews Group questionnaire, Friel wrote, “Im working for state home as a result of I wish to see our authorities work for our neighborhood and I imagine I could make a distinction. I spent most of my profession turning round companies and organizations by rooting out waste, discovering widespread floor, and constructing the muse for a profitable future. At this time, I personal and run a small enterprise that protects our surroundings and air high quality by monitoring emissions ranges and serving to corporations scale back air pollution. I additionally serve on the Owen J Roberts Faculty Board, the place I struggle to make sure each pupil will get an excellent training,” Friel wrote.

Friel wrote that “my expertise as a businessperson informs my understanding of our native financial system and its place as some of the crucial components within the functioning of excellent authorities. A wholesome native financial system gives the means for companies to rent, households to prosper and investments to be made in our communities. The largest problem going through households, our state authorities and our nation as a complete shall be restoration from COVID-19 and its financial aftermath.”

He added that, “I by no means noticed myself working for workplace, however I ran as a result of Im annoyed with our authorities failing to ship on the problems that matter to us. Nobody is anticipating authorities to unravel all of our issues, however we deserve higher than what were getting from Harrisburg. Im able to get to work to convey common sense options to the issues going through our households.”

Requested to establish one theoretical assured accomplishment if elected, Friel wrote: “My first precedence in workplace shall be to work with Democrats and Republicans to strengthen our response to this disaster so we are able to get folks again to work. We should rebuild our financial system and make it work for working folks. This implies creating jobs with wages that may assist a household, healthcare that you could depend on and afford, a retirement that’s dignified and safe, and first-rate faculties for our youngsters.”

Requested how he differentiates himself from his opponent, Friel wrote that “after 27 years in Harrisburg, our present consultant is out of contact on the problems that matter to our neighborhood. I care about our faculties and wish to be certain all college students get the assets they should thrive no matter their zip code, whereas my opponent voted to slash funding to our public-school districts once we wanted it most. This has pressured Pennsylvania households to make up the distinction with unaffordable property taxes. Over the previous 27 years Pennsylvania has turn out to be probably the most disproportionally funded training system within the nation, that is fallacious and we have to repair it.”

Friel added that “I wish to defend our neighborhoods air and water, whereas our present consultant lately voted to offer $670 million in handouts to massive fossil gas polluters. I wish to put money into infrastructure to create jobs and guarantee clear water runs via our houses. As a small enterprise proprietor, Ill advocate for the pursuits of our native small companies, I imagine that predominant avenue is the important thing to the monetary well being of our communities, not Wall Road. My opponent has prioritized massive companies with out-of-state headquarters throughout this pandemic and our native companies are struggling.”

Friel wrote that “our neighborhoods well being care is beneath menace, individuals are dropping insurance coverage and native for-profit hospitals and shutting crucial assets and shedding 1000’s of staff. Tower Well being lately closed the maternity ward at Pottstown Hospital as a result of we didn’t act to reserve it. Entry to inexpensive well being care is crucial and we have to struggle for this as a neighborhood.”

Friel concluded that “I imagine in coverage not politics or celebration. As a faculty board member, I’ve labored to construct bipartisan consensus, we lately handed a senior tax rebate program I proposed for the primary time in our historical past, we additionally refinanced a portion of our debt this summer season and saved OJR taxpayers 5.5 million {dollars}. We are able to work collectively; we are able to change the dysfunctional authorities constructed by profession politicians.”

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