Democratic state Rep. Anthony DeLuca is seeking his 16th term in the House of Representatives because he says there's more on his to-do list in Harrisburg. His challenger, Republican Lawrence Paladin Jr., says 30 years is enough.
The Penn Hills residents disagree -- agreeably -- on just about every issue facing Pennsylvania and the 32nd House District, which includes Penn Hills, Blawnox, Verona and part of Plum.
Below are some key differences put forward by Mr. DeLuca, 73, and Mr. Paladin, 58, a lawyer who ran unsuccessfully for Penn Hills council three years ago.
Mr. DeLuca voted for budgets during the administration of former Gov. Ed Rendell that sent more state funding to schools, particularly early education programs; Mr. Paladin opposed the Rendell budgets, which he said had "lots of giveaways." He favors Gov. Tom Corbett's approach and would cut spending further. He believes the state spends too much money "encouraging behavior that we don't want to take place" such as reliance on general assistance and food stamps.
Mr. DeLuca favored allowing local municipalities to retain zoning control over the development of the Marcellus Shale gas wells, while Mr. Paladin prefers keeping control of the industry in state hands, reasoning that doing otherwise would restrict further development. Likewise, he believes the state unnecessarily regulates other businesses. As he put it, "Do we really need to have the state regulate hairdressers and barbers?"
A rare point of agreement is that both men said they would vote to increase fees for driver's licenses and vehicle registration to help fund transportation projects.
Overall, though, Mr. Paladin's views are out of sync with the state's obligation to safeguard the environment, provide proper oversight of business and industry, and adequately fund education and vital social programs.
Despite his long tenure in the Legislature, Mr. DeLuca's energy for the work is not flagging, he continues to be an effective representative for his district and he holds an important position as the ranking Democrat on the House Insurance Committee.
The Post-Gazette endorses Democrat Anthony DeLuca to continue representing the 32nd District.