Candidates makes their pitch in Burholme

Five candidates spoke to the crowd before the upcoming primary.

Luksik

Burholme Community Town Watch and Civic Association recently invited candidates running in the upcoming primary and their representatives.

Five people spoke to the crowd. They were Peg Luksik, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor who came all the way from Johnstown; Diane O’Dwyer, a representative for Kathi Cozzone, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor; Nikki Sosa, wife of Ray Sosa, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor; Ross Wolfe, the Philadelphia chairman for Republican Scott Wagner’s campaign for governor; and state Rep. Jared Solomon.

Luksik is pro-life, a supporter of the Second Amendment and a longtime advocate for home schooling rights and the Educational Improvement Tax Credit, which helps parents pay private school tuition. She thinks the state gasoline tax is outrageously high and is no fan of illegal immigration.

“Illegal immigration is, by definition, illegal,” she said.

Luksik is one of four Republicans running for lieutenant governor. She is not running with the support of any candidate for governor, saying she will work for the people.

“The lieutenant doesn’t work for the governor,” she said.

O’Dwyer, a friend of Cozzone, told the audience that the candidate has been a Chester County commissioner for a decade. She supports a higher minimum wage, a severance tax on fracking and more resources for workforce development. Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman and Westmoreland County IT project manager Aryanna Berringer, who both dropped out, have endorsed Cozzone.

Ray Sosa is also one of the five Democrats running for lieutenant governor, who chairs the state board of pardons, breaks Senate ties and runs the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council. Nikki Sosa said her husband has experience in emergency management. He wants to raise the minimum wage, help farmers, increase educational funding and decrease recidivism while helping ex-cons get jobs. Sosa said her husband wants to be a partner with Gov. Tom Wolf, unlike Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, with whom Wolf is not closely aligned.

Wolfe, who heads the Philadelphia Young Republicans, described Wagner as a successful businessman who was elected four years ago to the state Senate as a write-in candidate, beating Republican and Democratic candidates whose names were on the ballot. Wagner has campaigned a lot in Philadelphia, Wolfe said. He opposes sanctuary cities and was a big supporter of Beth Grossman’s campaign for district attorney against Larry Krasner.

Solomon, a Democrat, is unopposed for re-election. He’s played a leading role in bringing The Food Trust Night Market, the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra to the area. He’s been focused on improving business corridors, including weekly cleanups. He strongly supported historical designation of the Trinity Church, Oxford parish house to keep Royal Farms off the site. He’s organized four tours for possible tenants. He’ll continue to try to get more police officers assigned to the 2nd Police District and hopes to bring back a Police Athletic League center.

In response to questions, he said it’s a “misnomer” that illegal immigration increases crime.

“I’m in favor of sanctuary cities. I think the mayor has set the right tone,” he said.

Solomon wants a higher minimum wage. Pointing out that other natural gas-producing states have a severance tax on fracking, he wants Pennsylvania to join the list.

“It’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of time,” he said.

In other news from the April 12 meeting:

• Al Schmidt, a city elections commissioner, distributed books with data and other information. Schmidt told the crowd that, to vote in Pennsylvania, an individual needs to be an American citizen and at least 18 years old by Election Day. He encouraged people to learn more at philadelphiavotes.com

• The group voted 18–0 to continue discussion of a proposed expansion of a daycare at a single corner home at 7317–19 Whitaker Ave. The owner can care for four children, but wants to increase that number to 12. Group leaders will visit the house and talk to neighbors. They have asked the owner to remove poison ivy in her yard. A Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing is set for June.

• Supporters of preserving the parish house at Trinity Church, Oxford will hold a fundraiser on Saturday, May 12, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Presentation BVM social hall, 100 Old Soldiers Road, Cheltenham. Tickets cost $30 in advance or $35 at the door. The evening will include dinner, a pig roast, beer, wine, soda, coffee, dessert, music, a photo booth, 50/50 and raffle baskets. Call 609–705–8733 or visit parishhousefundraiser@gmail.com

• Burholme Community Town Watch and Civic Association will meet on Thursday, May 10, at 7 p.m. at Wesley Enhanced Living, 7040 Oxford Ave. ••