Voters' choice: A round-up of the Post-Gazette's endorsements for Tuesday's elections

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On Tuesday, voters will also determine the kind of Congress that works with the president and, in Pennsylvania, the public will fill three independent statewide offices -- attorney general, auditor general and treasurer -- along with half of the seats in the state Senate and all 203 in the House.

Since September, members of the Post-Gazette editorial board have interviewed dozens of candidates in contested races, and in the last month the board has issued its endorsements, which can be found at Here is a recap of our recommendations for Nov. 6:

U.S. Senate

After a distinguished public career as state treasurer and state auditor general, Bob Casey is completing his first six years in the U.S. Senate. He knows Pennsylvania and its people well. As a Democrat he's been a reliable vote for many of President Obama's initiatives, but as a centrist he's taken independent positions on trade deals and environmental plans that he believed would threaten Pennsylvania jobs.

As he seeks a second term, which would increase the influence he can wield for his state, Mr. Casey is being challenged by Tom Smith, a Tea Party Republican who was a lifelong Democrat and committeeman until he switched parties last year. In the spring, he was not even supported in the primary by GOP leaders. Now Mr. Smith, a former coal company executive, is trying to buy his way into office by spending at least $16.8 million of his own money on the campaign. In the meantime, he has refused to meet with and take questions from newspaper editorial boards around the state. A real operator, this one.

How responsive to the public would such a senator be? Pennsylvanians need not consider the question. They should re-elect Bob Casey.

Pa. Attorney General

Republican David Freed is far and away the most experienced candidate in this race, having spent 14 years in the Cumberland County district attorney's office, the last six as DA. The veteran prosecutor also manages the office's 50-member staff, which adds to his skill set. As attorney general he would focus on abuse of children and the elderly, pursue cyber criminals and go after distributors and street sellers of dangerous synthetic drugs.

Pa. Auditor General

For once, Pennsylvanians have a chance to elect a professional auditor as auditor general in Republican John Maher. A reform-minded member of the state House for the last 15 years, he will also bring independence and fair-mindedness to the job of state fiscal watchdog.

Pa. Treasurer

Rob McCord, a Democrat with an MBA from the Wharton School and a career as a venture capitalist, already knew a lot about investing before he was elected state treasurer four years ago. He has done a good job managing the state's money and deserves a second term.

U.S. House

12th District. Johnstown's Mark Critz is a middle-of-the-road Democrat who has fought in Congress for the middle class, especially on protecting jobs and preserving health care.

14th District. Incumbent Democrat Mike Doyle of Forest Hills has advocated a balanced approach to budget-cutting, supported a strong social safety net and brought research, development and job training dollars to the region.

18th District. Although we have differences with him on various positions, Republican Tim Murphy is an earnest and articulate advocate for his district. He deserves re-election to a sixth term.

State Senate

37th District. Democrat Matt Smith of Mt. Lebanon has been a fresh voice in the House for six years, arguing for adequate school funding and investment in transportation. Now he's ready for a larger role in the Senate.

State House

• 16th District -- Robert Matzie (D)

• 20th District -- Adam Ravenstahl (D)

• 22nd District -- Erin Molchany (D)

• 25th District -- Joseph Markosek (D)

• 30th District -- David Tusick (D)

• 32nd District -- Anthony DeLuca (D)

• 33rd District -- Frank Dermody (D)

• 39th District -- David Levdansky (D)

• 44th District -- Mark Scappe (D)

• 45th District -- Nick Kotik (D)

opinion_editorials - electionseditorials


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