BELLEFONTE — Primary Election Day in Center County features a few races. In fact, the only significant race is found in the 15th district, where Glenn “GT” Thompson is running for the Republican ballot. Although there are no candidates on the Democratic ballot, there are a pair of written choices.
Here is an overview of the candidates for the position of United States Government Representative in the 15th US Congressional District, for a two-year term.
(Editor’s note: The information below was provided by the Center County League of Women Voters.)
Glenn “GT” Thompson – Thompson runs unopposed. He was recently interviewed by the Center County League of Women Voters.
LWVCC: What issues would you prioritize and how would you work with other members of government to get legislation passed and signed?
GT: Millions of people don’t have access to reliable, high-speed Internet service, especially in rural America. COVID-19 has highlighted the urgency of connectivity as much of life has moved online. I will continue to work to bridge the digital divide and bring connectivity to rural America. Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have always worked in a bipartisan manner to achieve common ground and consensus. I credit my career in health care and my volunteer experiences, whether in scouting, as an EMT and firefighter, or on a school board.
LWVCC: What will you do during your term to ensure that all eligible voters have equal access to free and fair elections?
GT: Free and fair elections are the foundation of our democratic system of government. It is imperative to maintain the integrity of our electoral process and to guarantee the right to vote for every American. While I encourage efforts to reduce illegal activity in our federal elections, Congress must respect the role that state and local governments play in shaping their own electoral process. Any form of discrimination is completely unacceptable. It’s not a partisan issue; all Americans should push to be included and participate in the electoral process.
LWVCC: What measures, regulations or acts, if any, would you support to mitigate climate change?
GT: As Republican leader of the House Agriculture Committee, my colleagues and I have introduced bills aimed at improving forest management, increasing access to precision agriculture, restoring healthy soils and produce responsible energy and conservation incentives. We cannot sacrifice a healthy economy for a healthy environment, and vice versa. Natural solutions work, and we know that farmers, ranchers and foresters are key to these solutions. I also drafted the SUSTAINS Act, which will encourage partnerships with the private sector by encouraging companies to support sustainability by investing in conservation practices. Thoughtful, science-based policies will help promote a stronger agricultural economy and a healthier environment.
LWVCC: How do you see the role of the United States in responding to the challenges facing the international community?
GT: The United States plays a vital role in shaping international policy with countries that share our values. There are a number of diplomatic tools at our disposal to discourage bad actors from inflicting damage. I am a strong supporter of the American Institute of Peace, which Congress established in 1984 with President Reagan, to improve national security and global stability by reducing violent conflict abroad. We must always strive to mitigate conflict through diplomacy, but as the father of the military, I know we must also continue to have the best-funded, best-trained, and deadliest fighting force in the planet. And we have to be there for our troops at the end of their service.
(Editor’s note: There are no Democrats on the ballot for the 15th District, but two candidates are vying for write-in votes. Since they weren’t on the ballot, they don’t were not interviewed by the LLVCC).
Here is an overview of the candidates in writing:
Ronnie Ray Jenkins – Jenkins grew up in the 15th District with 10 other siblings. He’s a veteran, having served in the US military. Later, he continued his college studies in wildlife management and environmental studies under the GI Bill.
According to his website, Jenkins is self-employed.
“I look forward to sharing this whole rural PA renaissance with you. We will fight for all the things GT Thompson voted against,” Jenkins said. “He voted against BBB, infrastructure, the formation of a commission of inquiry for January 6, and most importantly, he voted against our democracy. Against the certification of a president who won by the voice of the people. I will die on this hill called democracy. It is a promise.
Mike Molesevich – According to a press release, Molesvich was born, raised, and educated in central Pennsylvania. He is completing his 35th year in business as an environmental consultant and entrepreneur. For more than 40 years, he has helped Pennsylvania businesses and industries solve problems, clear land for buying, selling and financing.
Molesevich cites integrity, national security, defense, economy, jobs, education, environment and energy among his top priorities for office. His goal, he says, is to get more than 1,000 eligible write-in votes.
“No elected official should go unchallenged” said Molesevich.
Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 17.