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Mako, Halkias answer questions for 183rd

Two candidates will face off for the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania’s 183rd House District race.

The district includes Lowhill and North Whitehall townships and Slatington Borough in Lehigh County. It also consists of Allen, East Allen, Lehigh Township and part of Moore Township, and Bath, North Catasauqua, Northampton and Walnutport boroughs in Northampton County.

Four-term incumbent Republican Zachary Mako is being challenged by Republican Zach Halkias, who serves as a member of Slatington Borough Council.

The winner will face Democrat Joseph Lenzi in the November general election.

Lenzi is running unopposed in the primary.

Candidates were asked a series of questions:

What do you see as the most pressing issue affecting the 183rd District, and how do you plan to address it?

Mako: Property taxes are out of control. They are forcing senior citizens out of their homes, squeezing the checkbooks of middle-aged taxpayers, and making it nearly impossible for young people to buy a home. I have sponsored legislation and will continue to fight to eliminate and reduce property taxes so that families can purchase their own home and seniors can remain in theirs.

Halkias: The economy. Gas is up, housing is up, groceries are up, and economic opportunity is down largely because of it. I will address this by promoting policies that will offset the continually rising costs by unleashing Pennsylvania’s energy resources, and deregulating our natural gas and energy sectors. I will work to pass legislation that eases restrictions on small business. I am the only candidate that took the taxpayer protection pledge ensuring voters that I will not support tax increases. This can be found on the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge database.

What is the biggest issue impacting the economy and how would you address it?

Mako: Government spending and the cost of energy are the two main factors that are impacting the economy. We need to continue to cut unnecessary spending in Harrisburg. I oppose Gov. Shapiro’s budget which is a $3.2 billion increase in spending. I also oppose Gov. Shapiro’s new energy tax which will lead to increased utility costs and increase the cost of goods and services.

Halkias: Remove liberal regulations on the energy sector. I will oppose Gov. Shapiro’s PACER initiative that likens to California policies that cause blackouts, oppose RGGI, and oppose new energy taxes. I’ll work tirelessly to promote an economy that relieves the financial pressure on our seniors, reduces living cost for our families, and reassures our youth that they will be able to afford a home and a family of their own.

What are your top three priorities?

Mako: Public safety is the number one responsibility of government. I oppose any effort to defund the police. I believe that we need to secure our borders and I oppose sanctuary cities.

Property taxes are out of control. I have opposed billions in taxes and spending increases. I supported the Taxpayer Protection Act.

Every child deserves a quality education. I have fought for our fair share of education funding and will policies that improve public education and also expand school choice options such as charter schools, home schooling, vocational training, education scholarships and education improvement tax credits.

Halkias: Revive the economy by supporting small business growth which is the backbone of our economy. Supporting and encouraging new business. Restore trust in our election process by ensuring election integrity in our townships and boroughs. Halkias fully supports voter ID and opposes PA’s unconstitutional Act 77 No Excuse Mail-In Ballot Law. Protect our communities by supporting local police departments to ensure we have strong law enforcement to reverse the increased crime rates that are largely due to illegal immigration and open borders.