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ELECTION: 183rd district, Pa. House of Representatives

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    Jason Ruff

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    Zachary Mako

Published November 03. 2018 06:50AM

Jason Ruff, a Democrat, is challenging Republican incumbent Zachary Mako for the 183rd district of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The district includes Slatington, Washington Township, and parts of South Whitehall and Whitehall townships in Lehigh County and Walnutport, Northampton, North Catasaqua and Allen, Lehigh and part of Moore townships in Northampton County.

Jason Ruff

Democrat

Address: Slatington

Qualifications: I am currently serving as vice-president of Slatington Borough Council, a local small business owner, both providing plenty of budget experience, and the representative to Northern Lehigh County’s Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan, as well as various community volunteer roles such as D&L Trail steering committee and Lehigh County Blight Task Force. I have a degree in business management from Kutztown University and lead with community service as a guiding principle.

What would your top three priorities be as state representative?

First, ending the corrupt process of gerrymandering. Fairly drawn districts ensure each citizen’s voice and vote is heard. Second, we need to take decisive action to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, our property taxes, while making sure schools have the stable and secure source of funding our students and teachers deserve. Third, we need to get back to a government of the people and by the people that restores and strengthens our hardworking middle-class.

How would you bring jobs to your district?

There are many ways to build our local economy and jobs by making sure citizens who want extra training and resources get it, that working people are earning fair, living wages that they can then spend locally, which drives more hiring, as well as looking for ways to increase employment opportunities as we migrate to a cleaner and more sustainable energy system, and ensuring our infrastructure needs are well-funded and staffed.

Many efforts have been made to bring light to the opioid crisis. What is the next step?

We need to act swiftly to bring required resources to halt and prevent this community crisis. Our schools need resources to educate students and parents, we can educate on prescription opioids, we should be holding big-pharma accountable for pushing addictive medications, and we can be supportive of addicts that want help. Communities have already been successful in implementing resource centers and help in ways that are making a positive impact.

Many efforts have been made to abolish property taxes. What is the answer?

This crisis plaguing property owners and seniors is a top priority. Smart reform could slightly raise the sales tax, like Republicans want, but we could also force big corporations to pay their fair share, such as taxing fracking and removing the Delaware tax loophole, like Democrats want. A smarter, hybrid solution could eliminate property taxes without robbing school districts of their stable and secure source of funding.

Zachary Mako

Republican

Address: Walnutport

Qualifications: I was born and raised in our community and understand the concerns of my constituents because they are the same things affecting my family. After graduating from Northampton High School, I became a Chinook Helicopter pilot in the Army National Guard and deployed to Afghanistan. I still serve in the National Guard today. During my first term, I have used my experiences to be a voice for the needs of our community in Harrisburg.

What would your top three priorities be as state representative?

My top priorities would be reducing and eliminating property taxes, cutting wasteful government spending and increasing education funding.

How would you bring jobs to your district?

I will continue to fight for working families by reducing government red tape that discourages businesses from coming to Pennsylvania, building a reliable safety net and pushing for job retraining programs that put people back to work.

Many efforts have been made to bring light to the opioid crisis. What is the next step?

This is a serious issue affecting all of us. In Harrisburg I’ve supported efforts to prevent overdose deaths, provide law enforcement with the resources they need to get dealers off the streets and provide treatment for addicts who want to turn their lives around. I will continue to push for increased education and addiction treatment options as well as working to hold those responsible accountable.

Many efforts have been made to abolish property taxes. What is the answer?

In Harrisburg, I will continue to fully support efforts to abolish property taxes. While we were unable to eliminate property taxes in my first term as State Representative, I was very proud to have helped pass real pension reform that will save homeowners billions of dollars in taxes. It is important that we continue to pass reforms to reduce property taxes, while fighting for legislation to completely abolish this burden.

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