In the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, the seat of the individual who will represent District 50 is now up for grabs on Nov. 3. Incumbent democratic Rep. Pam Snyder is up against the republican challenger, Larry Yost. Snyder has been serving the 50th District for the past eight years and hopes to continue for two more years. Yost is a current business owner of a local branding and design firm and wants to bring his skills and economic knowledge to public service.
The candidates on their key issues
When asked about her key issues, Snyder said her focus for the next two years will be on eliminating the property tax burden placed on “the people in this district for use in public schools.” She also said that she will fight for stronger public education for future generations and more jobs in the energy industry.
Snyder wants to maintain “energy independence” and wants to fight for investments in infrastructure projects like water, sewage, roads and broadband internet.
A major issue Yost wants to address in public office is tax reform, similar to one of Snyder’s key focuses.
“The reason behind that is because we have so many people in our area that have property and school taxes that are so high and it’s driving them out of our area,” Yost said. “Tax reform is necessary in our corporate taxes as well.”
Yost wants to ultimately grow the population of District 50 and believes that tax reform is a way to help keep businesses in the district and grow the local economy.
The candidates on their opponent
Snyder said, “For the past three election cycles, I’ve essentially run against the same person—an individual who has entirely partisan backing, presents no real platform, and does nothing but sling mud and embody the worst in our politics today. I focus on the results I’ve been able to deliver for the people of this district and how I’ll continue fighting for a better life for everyone who lives here.”
Snyder said that she has the support of organizations from individual labor unions to political action committees.
Yost said he doesn’t dislike Snyder by any means, but he believes that her policies and decisions during her time in office haven’t led to any economic growth.
“Her party doesn’t allow it, her party doesn’t want it,” Yost said, referring to other house democrats on tax reform. “She votes primarily with Philadelphia instead of Greene and Fayette and Washington counties.”
The candidates on COVID-19
“We must work to save lives and rebuild our economy. We must follow science to keep everyone safe while cherishing the role that a healthy economy has in the health of our families,” Snyder said.
Snyder said she fought to declare energy jobs in the area as essential and fought for grants to keep small businesses open and first responders operational.
“As a member of both Labor and Agriculture Committees, I’m prepared to rebuild the economy in our region. That means focusing on what our region does: work, build infrastructure, make energy, and farm our lands for the Commonwealth and the country,” Snyder said.
Yost wants the county to follow and adhere to the CDC guidelines to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“Whenever [the CDC] makes a recommendation, we should follow those recommendations,” Yost said.
Yost was strongly against the way Gov. Tom Wolf mandated the state to stay at home and close all non-essential businesses.
“When you look at Greene County in particular, we’re not really suffering from the number of cases we are seeing elsewhere in the state. So, I never thought it was okay to maintain the shutting down of our businesses. I would support any legislation that would open us up to full capacity. I would’ve supported legislation that would’ve taken away Gov. Wolf’s emergency executive powers.”
Yost also said that Snyder voted for Wolf to keep his powers multiple times when he was challenged by the legislative branch.
The candidates on bipartisanship
“The voters didn’t send me to Harrisburg to make friends, they sent me there to get results. Much of the work that I do in Harrisburg is done with colleagues on the other side of the isle,” Snyder said.
Snyder said that she worked with republican colleagues on the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and worked with a republican senator in the Rural Broadband Caucus.
“We need to bring civility back into politics by leaving our differences behind when coming together at the table. As public officials, we’ve been elected to serve our constituents, not our parties. That’s how I’ve always served and that is how I will continue to serve,” Snyder said.
Yost said that he already has “overwhelming support” from those in the opposing party, democrats. He also said that democrats on the national level tend to differ from democrats on the local level.
“Our area as far as democrats go, they’re very similar. They share the same family values, a lot of the same traditions and overall they want to see people that are in there that are willing to represent them in a better way,” Yost said.
Yost also mentioned that the partisan divide in the area is much less severe than at the national level, and that most democrats in the area would disagree greatly with many of their nation-wide party members.
“I’m willing to represent,” Yost said.
On Nov. 3, Election Day, citizens within District 50 (Greene County, with parts of Fayette and Washington County) will get the opportunity to vote for their chosen candidate to represent them in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the next two years.