Tusick in the 30th: The younger candidate is clear and well-informed

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Harold "Hal" English, the Republican candidate in the 30th state House district, comes recommended by the popular Randy Vulakovich, who formerly held the seat but won a special election in August to replace Jane Orie in the Senate after her conviction for corruption.

This endorsement may carry weight in the district, which includes Fox Chapel, Hampton and parts of O'Hara, Ross and Shaler.

On paper, Mr. English, 49, of Hampton seems ideal. He is a lawyer who has practiced since 1987 and has had his own firm since 1998 specializing in elder law. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a lieutenant colonel after 30 years' service. He has been active in his community, including with the Rotary Club.

But when he met with editors at the Post-Gazette, he didn't want to be pinned down on what he would do in Harrisburg before he got there and learned the facts. Beyond a general conservative viewpoint, including pro-life sympathies, he said his ideas are not set in concrete. He did say that he did not want to raise the impact fee set on Marcellus Shale drillers and would like to see the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation have better control of its spending.

His Democratic opponent, David Tusick of Fox Chapel, stands in complete contrast -- he is 26 and very well-informed on the issues. That prior knowledge allows him to state his positions clearly and he's also clear about why he is running: He believes the American dream is being tarnished for his generation. No argument there.

A graduate of Robert Morris University with an economics and marketing degree, he is the co-owner of a small Downtown advertising agency, only the latest small business he has founded over the last five years.

He deplores Gov. Tom Corbett's budgets that have shifted the tax burden for education from the state to local school districts, causing property taxes to rise locally and teachers to be furloughed. Not only does he criticize the cuts to education, but he also suggests how revenue could be raised to help -- by closing the so-called Delaware tax loophole for corporations and setting a higher gas drilling fee that is more typical of other states.

But Mr. Tusick, who wants to speak up for small businesses in Harrisburg, also supports lowering the corporate income tax. He is pro-choice on abortion, believing that decisions should be left to a woman and her doctor.

In the 30th District, the Post-Gazette endorses the young entrepreneur David T. Tusick, who has the potential to go on to great things.

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