Welcome back to Broad + Liberty’s Candidate Spotlight Series! Each week, we reach out to candidates all across the Commonwealth up for election to public office — an equal number of Democrats and Republicans; incumbents and challengers. We ask one question per week about public policy pressing to you. Those who choose to respond will have their answers shared on our website every Wednesday through Sunday. (Please read a special statement about unresponsive candidates here.)
If you are a candidate for public office in Pennsylvania and would like to participate in our series, please reach out to email@example.com.
This week’s question: As the debate over the “soul of the nation” intensifies, there are increased calls for unification between parties but increasing moves toward division. How do you plan to serve all your constituents regardless of ideological disposition?
Broad + Liberty thanks the following campaigns for their participation. Click a link below to jump to the response from your district’s candidate!
- Brian Fitzpatrick (R, Incumbent), Running for U.S. Congress, District 1
- Christian Nascimento (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 4
- David Galluch (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 5
- Guy Ciarrocchi (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 6
Brian Fitzpatrick (R, Incumbent)
Running for U.S. Congress, District 1
Please read Congressman Fitzpatrick’s answer here.
Brian Fitzpatrick’s opponent, Ashley Ehasz, chose not to respond.
Christian Nascimento (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 4
If you turn on the news at any point in the day, it would surely seem like we have never been more divided, almost like we live in two separate, distinct Americas.
But if you spend just a few minutes talking to your neighbor, or a stranger on the street, what becomes abundantly clear is that there is so much more that unites us than divides us: we all want safe streets, we all want good jobs, and we all want bright futures for our children and grandchildren.
We may disagree on how best to get there, but that is the beauty of the American system: it allows for open and honest discussion and debate.
We have lost some of that; rather, we have allowed our elected officials to ignore that. We have gotten to the point where we are more focused on demonizing our opponent than understanding them and convincing them.
When our sitting Congresswoman calls the opposing party a “cult,” we know some of us have lost our way. Always remember when a politician or a group of politicians tries to divide you, it is for a reason, be it political or personal gain. And when we push through solutions on a party line vote, we have already lost, because we have walked away from millions of Americans and their buy-in.
Bipartisan solutions work. They make our country better. There is no greater proof of this than the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. As the New York Times recently reported, child poverty has fallen 59% since then, with more than 10 million children lifted out of poverty. This was accomplished by combining expansion of government aid with tighter welfare eligibility. Or, as the NYT put it, “The 1996 welfare law turned out to be a case study of different political ideologies combining to produce a result that was better than either side would likely have produced on its own.”
So how would I serve my constituents regardless of ideological disposition?
Very simply: By remembering that my role would be to serve the people, all of the people, and not special interests, by bringing a commonsense approach to the issues of the day, and by approaching each day with honor and humility, spending my time trying to build bridges, not burn them down.
Christian Nascimento’s opponent, Madeleine Dean, did not respond.
David Galluch (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 5
Two weeks ago, in the midst of numerous crises — soaring costs for working families, rising crime, and failing education — President Biden decided to alienate half the country while flanked by U.S. Marines. Furthermore, his speech was given just outside of Independence Hall, the birthplace of our nation where men who disagreed vehemently with each other made great compromises to build our foundational institutions and documents.
Real leadership does not seek to divide along the lines of who we vote for or what our political persuasions are. I served seven years as a Navy Special Operations officer. Not once did someone’s race, gender, creed, or political affiliation affect our ability to get the job done in defense of our country. The kind of leadership I learned in the military is the type that unites and brings people together in the face of division to accomplish the mission. We worked together to solve our greatest challenges — something our current leaders cannot do.
For my opponent, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, to applaud this speech and echo the sentiments of President Biden, is a shame, and a missed opportunity to reach across the aisle and solve problems. This failure of leadership and failure to solve problems is exactly why I decided to run for office. I know what real leadership looks like, I know that we are not getting it, and we deserve better from our elected officials.
David Galluch’s opponent, Mary Gay Scanlon, chose not to respond.
Guy Ciarrocchi (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 6
Leaders can bring about unity in two ways. First, we need to focus on issues that impact the most people. Leaders should avoid using political office — and their political soapbox — to highlight issues simply to provoke “the other side.” Second, true leadership requires the right tone and rhetoric.
The next Congress must focus on the practical issues that we talk about at our kitchen tables: inflation and gas prices, rising crime and our children’s safety. And we must focus on bringing about meaningful results.
If we focus on commonsense solutions — stopping wasteful spending, eliminating mandates and burdensome regulations, and unleashing American energy — we can make a positive impact and rally most Americans to these policies. We can fight violent crime by supporting our police officers, having zero tolerance for violent offenders, and making sure our schools and small businesses are protected. Lastly, we must empower and support parents so that they are welcomed and encouraged to take a leading role in their children’s’ education.
If we focus on kitchen table issues, offer commonsense results, and combine that with toned-down rhetoric to respect differences in opinion, we can solve problems, lower the tension level and bring our nation closer to unity.
Guy Ciarrocchi’s opponent, Chrissy Houlahan, chose not to respond.
Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @BroadAndLiberty