AG candidate Shapiro discusses plans to combat opioid epidemic

Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, last week addressed the Holme Circle Civic Association.

Shapiro, the commission chairman and a former state representative for seven years, faces Republican state Sen. John Rafferty. He told the crowd he would be a “people’s attorney general.”

Shapiro noted that Montgomery County’s office is four times larger than the attorney general’s office.

“I know how to make government work,” he said.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Harrisburg Patriot-News, the County Detectives Association, the International Police Association Region 13 and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 have endorsed Shapiro, who vows to bring integrity to the Office of Attorney General, which he described as “a mess.”

Democrat Kathleen Kane, elected attorney general in 2012, was sentenced to jail after being convicted of leaking secret grand jury information to the Daily News to discredit a former prosecutor with whom she clashed.

Shapiro also has plans to combat the heroin and opioids epidemic in Pennsylvania, and will try to protect senior citizens and other consumers from scams.

“We’re going to protect our seniors,” he said.

If elected, he would want to make it more affordable for first responders to carry Narcan, a lifesaving opiate antidote. He’d also beef up the Gun Violence Task Force.

Rafferty defeated Joe Peters, a terrorism and intelligence expert, in the primary. Peters has endorsed Shapiro. Also crossing party lines to back Shapiro is Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin.

Shapiro has a money and voter-registration advantage on Rafferty, and describes himself as “very, very confident.”

In other news from the Oct. 26 meeting:

• Ross Feinberg, the Republican candidate in the 5th Senatorial District, pledged to make the “Great Northeast great again.” His top issues include jobs and opposition to the beverage tax. He ran for register of wills on a platform of abolishing the office. Sen. John Sabatina Jr. was in Harrisburg and unable to attend.

• City Councilman Brian O’Neill spoke on behalf of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. O’Neill said Toomey works in a bipartisan manner to promote sensible, common-sense solutions, adding that he has the endorsement of law enforcement.

Specifically, Toomey supports background checks on guns and a requirement that schools report child molesters, and opposes the Iran nuclear deal and sanctuary cities.

• Scott Heppard represented U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, who was at an event in Montgomery County. Boyle is unopposed.

Heppard said Boyle supports additional transportation funding and answers to why drinking water in Horsham has been contaminated. Boyle has four district offices, two more than his predecessor, Allyson Schwartz.

• Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 president John McNesby pledged to make a donation to an effort to erect American flags in the neighborhood. The FOP also supported similar efforts in Mayfair and Somerton.

• City Controller Alan Butkovitz will hold a financial wellness fair on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gambrel Recreation Center, 4800 Ditman St. He will be joined by U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, state Sen. Tina Tartaglione, state Rep. Jason Dawkins and City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez.

The day will include fraud tips, housing and credit counseling, retirement planning, food, refreshments, raffles and resources from city, state and community organizations. Call 215-MU6–8896.

• According to its website, Sky Zone trampoline park will soon be opening at 9490 Blue Grass Road.

• Holme Circle Civic Association will meet on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. at St. Jerome School, 3031 Stamford St. ••