At Keystone Politics, there are isn’t much we like seeing more than a feisty Progressive Democrat in a red district challenging a deep red Republican. Immediately following the Primary Election, Susan Spicka, who secured the Democratic nomination for the 89th General Assembly District, has invited the Republican Legislator Rob Kauffman to join her for a series of debates across the district in the coming months.
“As a voter, I’ve always appreciated knowing where the candidates stand on the issues and having a chance to ask them questions. Now that I’m a candidate, I want to give residents of the 89th District that same opportunity,” said Spicka. “Debates are a great way for us as candidates to have a real conversation with our friends and neighbors about the future of our state and our community.”
Spicka would like to see at least three debates between the candidates, but would welcome even more opportunities to allow voters to compare the candidates’ views.
“The residents of the 89th district deserve the chance to see Susan and Rob side by side, discussing issues that matter to the people of the district,” said Cumberland County Democratic Committee Chairman Michael Fedor. “It’s one of the best ways to learn who’s really up to confronting the challenges we face as a community.”
Spicka is making her first run for public office this year. She is a former public school teacher who lives in Shippensburg with two daughters and her husband who teaches history at Shippensburg University.
Last spring, she was one of the co-founders of Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley, an organization of parents and community members that came together to raise awareness about how public policy impacts public education, and to encourage community members to support public schools.
“Rob Kauffman and I have very different views on the critical issues facing our state, such as funding for public education, economic development, support for social services, and tax fairness,” noted Spicka. “Rather than explaining such complex issues in sound bites or 30-second ads, a debate allows voters to hear the candidates speak, and then to make up their own minds. Not only is that good for our district, it is also good for our democracy.”
Spicka hopes that Kauffman can agree to one date this spring before the state budget comes up for a final vote.
“This year’s state budget includes deep cuts to public education, our state colleges and universities, and vital human services,” added Spicka. “It also includes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks for profitable, multinational corporations. It would be a great service to the voters of our district if we could find a time and a place where Rob Kauffman and I could explain how we might vote differently on these matters and also have a chance to explain our choices.”