Alloway, Tushingham face off to replace retiring Pa. State Sen. Terry Punt

October 18, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Voters headed to the polls on Nov. 4 in the race for the 33rd District seat in the Pennsylvania Senate will be choosing a successor to retiring five-term state Sen. Terry Punt.

Republican Richard Alloway II and Democrat Bruce Tushingham have been campaigning across the district, which encompasses Franklin and Adams counties as well as part of York County.

"I'm going to have my hands full trying to beat Mr. Alloway because of the numbers and the money, but we're going to have a big showing," said Tushingham, 69, of New Oxford, Pa.

The latest campaign finance reports reveal that Alloway has spent more than $200,000 since the start of April. Tushingham said Thursday in an e-mail to The Herald-Mail that he has spent $2,555 on the general election.


Alloway, 40, of Chambersburg, said he decided to run for office because he wanted to bring a "positive change" to the district.

"The positive change I want to bring is to keep taxes low in our area," he said.

Tushingham entered the primary election as a write-in candidate last spring because he was concerned that no Democrats had filed to run.

"(Alloway) was going to walk in uncontested," Tushingham said.

Alloway identified jobs as the biggest issue facing south-central Pennsylvania.

"People are concerned how they're going to keep their homes, pay their mortgages, pay the bills and prepare for retirement," he said.

Tushingham, a retired schoolteacher, chose property taxes and an oversized, dishonest legislature as the biggest concerns. He said his own $1,800 property tax bill was in the mail last week.

"That's heavy on people who are retired and living on Social Security," Tushingham said. "It's not just the seniors. Everyone is getting whacked."

Alloway acknowledged it could be hard to cut property taxes in these difficult economic times, but he said a major step would be to reduce expenses, particularly those of the legislature itself. Alloway said he wants to end bickering and partisanship in Harrisburg, and he said his experiences as an attorney and former magisterial district judge have provided him with skills used in ending disputes.

Since Punt has claimed to have brought $17.2 million back to his district, both candidates for his seat were asked what they would do to bring tax dollars to Franklin, Adams and York counties in terms of grant funding.

"I'll have to research that. That's not my concern at the moment," Tushingham said. "I've got to work out the other problems."

"The biggest thing I can do is go to Harrisburg and convince the legislative leaders that south-central Pennsylvania is an important part of the state like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh," Alloway said.

The senate position pays $76,163 per year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voting begins Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 7 a.m. in Franklin County's 75 precincts.

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