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Who will represent Carbon in Washington?

  • Barletta
Published November 01. 2010 05:00PM

The question of who will represent Carbon County in Washington will be determined tomorrow when the General Election of 2010 takes place. At stake besides state House and Senate seats (see related story) are the U.S. House seat in the 110th Congressional District and one of the two positions in the U.S. Senate representing Pennsylvania.

Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in each of the 51 election precincts in the county.

House contest

The Congressional race is one that county voters have seen in the past, where Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski of Nanticoke is once again challenged by Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta. Kanjorski, the Democrat, prevailed over his GOP challenger both in 2002 and 2008.

First elected to the House in 1984, he is a senior leader of the House, representing all of Carbon, Columbia and Monroe counties, most of Luzerne County and more than half of Lackawanna County.

Included among his many duties in the House are his chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises.

Before his election to Congress, Congressman Kanjorski was a trial attorney in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

An Army veteran, his career work has included preservation of the Tobyhanna Army Depot and Veterans Administration Medical Center, as well as promotion of economic development, flood control and land conservancy issues.

Kanjorski is a graduate of Temple University and the Dickinson School of Law.

He and his wife, Nancy, have one daughter.

Barletta, 51, has served as mayor since 2000, having previously been a city councilman for two years.

Born and raised in Hazleton, he left his family businesses to create his own company with his wife, Mary Grace. They are the parents of four daughters, Kelly, April, Lindsey and Grace, and have one grandson, Gabriel Louis. Barletta was appointed by the White House to serve as a member of the United Nations Advisory Committee. In 2006, he was appointed to serve on the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities Legislative Committee.

He serves on the National Board of Advisors of the Federation for American Immigration Reform and is a member of the Northeast District of the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities, and the advisory board of the Luzerne County Community College.

Senate race

Carbon County residents will also participate in the race for U.S. Senate, where the candidates are Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey. The victor will succeed Sen. Arlen Specter, who Sestak defeated in the Democratic primary election.

Sestak, 58, is a second-term Congressman from the Philadelphia suburbs who spent 31 years in the U.S. Navy and retired as an admiral. He is the highest ranking former military officer ever elected to Congress.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1974, received a master's degree from Harvard University in 1981 and a Ph.D from Harvard in 1984. He has served as director for defense policy in the White House and served on President Bill Clinton's National Security Council.

Toomey, 48, of Zionsville, holds a bachelor of science degree from Harvard University.

A former restaurant owner, he represented the Lehigh Valley area in Congress from 1999-2008.

The U.S. House seat is for a two-year term while the Senate seat is a six-year term.

Both positions carry annual salaries of $174,000.

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