Three legislative districts all have races this year
The three incumbent state legislators representing Schuylkill County and part of Berks County in the state House of Representatives all have opposition in Tuesday's General Election. There are eight candidates on the ballots seeking to represent the constituants from the 123rd, 124th and 125th Legislative Districts.
The Republican Party needs only three seats to be picked in the 203 member House of Representatives which would bring a sweeping policy change to a state that can't seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be Democratic or Repubolican. The House is currently controlled by the Democrats, 104-99.
The party which will be in the majority after November's election will have complete control over the redrawing of boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts in Pennsylvania. This is a once-a-decade process which follows the 2010 federal census. The process will begin in 2011 and has to be completed before candidates file for the April 2012 primary election.
A five member commission of the four legislative leaders and a tie-breaking chairman will draw boundaries for the 253 State House and Senate districts. The State Supreme Court will rule on any appeal. The redistricting of the state's 19 congressional districts is done as a regular bill with approval needed by both chambers of the government. Appeals are handled by the federal courts.
There are three candidates seeking election to the seat in the 124th District currently held by Jerry Knowles, Republican. He is opposed by Jeffrey Faust, Democrat, and Dante Picciano, Independent.
Althrogh an incumbent, Knowles will be seeking his first full year term as he was elected at a special election to fill the vacant seat of David Argall. Knowles resides in Tamaqua and is a former county commissioner. He also was a police officer in Tamaqua, served on borough council and was the town's mayor. Faust is an East Brunswick Township Supervisor and an area businessman. Picciano is a retired patent attorney and resides in West Penn Township. He needed 300 signers of a petition to get on the ballot and came up with more than 1,000.
The contest in the 123red Legislative District has the incumbent Neal Goodman, Democrat, being challenged by a newcomer to politics, Ettore G. DiCasimirro, Republican.
Goodman is part of the powerful Goodman family who have been strong in politics like the Kennedys of Massachusetts. The Goodman political dynasty has controlled the district for many years. Neal Goodman has been representing the district for the past eight years. DiCasimirro works with his family operating the Skytop Coal and Oil Company. Goodman admitted that problems have cast a dark cloud over the legislature but points out the improvements made in transportation and increase accountability. DiCasimirro claims the people of the district have been misrepresented and his main goal is to bring jobs back to his district.
The 125th District also has a contest among three candidates. The Incumbent, Tim Seip, Democrat, is being challenged by Mike Tobash, Republican, and Dennis Baylor, No Party candidate.
Seip has served two terms in a district which has a majority of Republican voters but has defeated the challenge the past two times. Tobash operates an insurance business and won the Republican nomination in Primary Election. Baylor is a retired engineer and obtained 308 signatures to have his name on the ballot.