Obama or Romney? They’re not the only choices in this historical election

By on October 31, 2012

Here they come, down the stretch, the champions of our nation’s leading political parties, and it’s just too close to call.

This presidential race will be a photo finish.

Hurricane Sandy stole headlines this week, and even though Lititz was spared from the destruction seen in south Jersey and New York City, it was a historic storm. The Election Day results between Democratic President Barak Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will be equally historic.

The public has a myriad of polls to choose from, and they all have their own margin of error, but they all demonstrate just how close this will be and that every vote could be a difference-maker.

ABC has Romney ahead of Obama by one percentage point. CBS has Obama ahead by one. There are dozens of others to choose from, and when you average them out the only clear answer is that this will come down to the wire.

Much has changed since Barak Obama campaigned at Wilbur Chocolate in downtown Lititz in 2008. As the nation’s sluggish economy slowly rebuilds and unemployment remains high, reelection is no easy task.

And for those who feel the two-party system doesn’t work, there are other choices, names lost in the discussion as Obama and Romney spend millions of dollars on publicity.

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is the Libertarian candidate for president. On the issue of spending and the deficit, he believes the government spends too much because it does too much:

"We must fundamentally reassess the role of the federal government, always asking the question: Should the government be doing this in the first place?"

For more information on this candidate, visit his website at garyjohnson2012.

Dr. Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate for president. She is a physician and environmental health advocate. Her position on education includes providing tuition-free education from kindergarten through college to eliminate the student debt crisis. She is also in favor of forgiving existing student debt.

For more information on this candidate’s full slate of issues, visit her website at jillstein.org.

Polls open throughout Pennsylvania at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Nov. 6. For Lititz and Manheim area voters, there have been no changes to polling locations since the primary election. For more information on voting locations, or anything related to Tuesday’s election, visit the Lancaster County government website or call the county election office at 299-8000.

While the presidential election may steal the show, there are other contested races of interest for Lititz voters:

? Will our Congressional representative in Washington continue to be Republican Joe Pitts, or does Democrat Aryanna Strader or Independent John Murphy have a shot at unseating the eight-term conservative?

Strader was in Lititz on Sunday for a radio talk show interview at Aaron’s Books (see related story in this week’s Record Express). Her position on the economy and job creation centers on supporting small businesses:

"I will work with the president and Senate to ensure that we give tax cuts to small business and make credit and lending more readily accessible so they can continue to create new jobs."

For more on this candidates views, visit her website at straderforcongress.org.

Who is John Murphy and why is he running for Congress?

"I’m running for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania’s 16th district because I’m concerned about how the two major parties have led us into one war after another and have done nothing domestically to improve the lives of average Americans. Our economy has grown by 78 percent over the last 30 years, but the average income for the family of four, adjusted for inflation, is actually less than it was in 1973! In the richest nation in the world, our standard of living is less now than it was 30 years ago," says the history teacher and management consultant from Chester County.

To learn more about this independent thinker, visit his website at johnmurphyforcongress.org.

? Our U.S. Senator is a choice between Democratic incumbent Bob Casey Jr., Republican Tom Smith, and Libertarian Rayburn Smith.

Tom Smith is a coal mining executive from Armstrong County who believes oppressive regulation suffocates growth and kills jobs. He is also a strong supporter of job growth through a focus on domestic energy.

More on his positions can be found on his website at tomsmithforsenate.com.

The other Smith, Rayburn, doesn’t have much faith in the two party system:

"Congress appears to do nothing, but it’s like a fungus: underneath the surface, it’s sinking its mycelia into its compost of national debt money permeating the substrate," he says on his Facebook page.

He doesn’t appear to have a website at this time, but his opinions on a variety of subjects like green energy and social security can be found on Facebook.

? There are quite a few choices at the state level. The Attorney General seat is up for grabs between Democrat Kathleen Kane, Republican David Freed and Libertarian Marakay Rogers. Auditor General is between Democrat Eugene DePasquale, Republican John Maher and Libertarian Betsy Summers. Treasurer candidates are Democrat Robert McCord, Republican Diana Irey Vaughan and Libertarian Patricia Fryman.

Locally, Tom Creighton is not running for reelection to represent Elizabeth Township and Manheim in the General Assembly. Voters in the 37th District will choose between Democrat Russell Stahley and Republican Mindy Fee.

Stahley is a retired pastor and is active in the Manheim community. He volunteers at the library, has a background in acting, and he even officiated at the wedding of jockey Stewart Elliott, who six years later won the Kentucky Derby riding Smarty Jones.

Fee was born and raised in Manheim, has a small business background and remains active in the community. She plans to take a common sense approach to Harrisburg while preserving farms and the Lancaster County way of life. For more on her background and issues, visit her website at mindyfee.com.

So, there is a lot to research in the way of choices for voters this Election Day. Regardless of where you stand on issues and candidates, take the time to vote. It counts. More ELECTION, page A15