Voters across the region — and especially those living in the State College Area School District — have compelling reasons to head to the polls Tuesday.
Democrats will pick challengers for both governor and lieutenant governor, deciding who will be opposite incumbents Gov. Tom Corbett and Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley on the ballot.
That’s presuming Corbett survives a write-in campaign by fellow Republican Bob Guzzardi.
Democrats for governor include ex-Department of Environmental Protection secretary Kathleen McGinty, state Treasurer Rob McCord, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and former state revenue secretary Tom Wolf — who have been campaigning, debating and jostling for the right to face Corbett.
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There are five Democrats gunning for the lieutenant governor ballot spot: former U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, of Johnstown, Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, state Rep. Brandon Neuman, of Washington County, Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith and state Sen. Mike Stack, of Philadelphia.
Republicans in the 81st state House district, which will include part of Centre County, also have an interesting race on their ballots. Incumbent Mike Fleck is officially unopposed, but Huntingdon County Treasurer Richard Irvin has been active as a write-in challenger.
Fleck now represents the district that will include Taylor, Halfmoon and Worth townships; Port Matilda; and portions of Ferguson and Patton townships when the next officeholder is sworn in next January.
The county’s other state lawmakers are unopposed. That includes state Sen. Jake Corman, R-Benner Township and reps. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte; Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township; and Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, whose 5th District includes all of Centre County, is unopposed on the Republican ticket. Democrats will pick a November challenger for Thompson — Army veteran Thomas Tarantella, of Renovo, or Brookville lawyer Kerith Strano Taylor.
For those living in the Centre Region, Tuesday brings the moment of decision about a proposal to borrow $85 million toward a proposed $115 million State College Area High School project.
The referendum question for that project will be on the ballot. A “yes” vote supports moving the district’s high school project forward.
Primary election days in our region generally attract a turnout of roughly 20 percent.
The high school referendum is so important that 100 percent of registered voters in the State College area should feel motivated to go to the polls and have a say in the outcome.
We urge voters across the county and region to make the time to participate in this important governing process.