Voters in the 45th House District will face a clear choice on the Nov. 6 ballot, five-term Democrat Nick Kotik of Robinson and Republican newcomer Aaron Kime of South Fayette.
Mr. Kotik, 61, had community experience as a McKees Rocks councilman and a Robinson town manager before being elected to the Legislature. He has focused his time in the House on economic development in the district, which includes Kennedy, Bridgeville, Carnegie, Coraopolis, Heidelberg, Pennsbury Village and parts of McKees Rocks, Collier, Scott, Robinson, South Fayette and Stowe.
He believes that a vibrant local economy requires reliable roads, safe bridges and dependable transit, all of which cost money; for that reason he'd vote for the higher vehicle registration and driver's license fees proposed by the governor's transportation funding commission. He supports Pennsylvania's burgeoning natural gas industry, but voted against the Marcellus Shale legislation because he felt drilling fees were too low and local control was too weak.
His overall record reflects that of a conventional, sometimes conservative, Democrat; he is strong on funding education and maintaining the social safety net and he calls himself pro-life and pro-gun.
Mr. Kime, 40, is a repeat challenger, having run in 2010, but he declined numerous Post-Gazette invitations to be interviewed this fall. From his website and his meeting with PG editors two years ago, we know he is a chiropractor, a National Guard lieutenant and former corrections officer. He says Mr. Kotik is not conservative enough and that he offers an alternative. Not being able to question him, however, we cannot tell if his approach would be the right one for the district.
The Post-Gazette endorses Nick Kotik for re-election and applauds his willingness to communicate with the press and therefore the public.