Free ride: Too many legislators face too little opposition

Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

It’s too early for most voters to focus on this year’s legislative elections. The Pennsylvania primary is May 20 and the general election is eight months away.

But when voters do start comparing candidates, many in Allegheny County will be surprised to learn that they have none to compare.

That’s because, of the 23 state House and Senate districts in the county with an election this year, 11 of the incumbents on the ballot will have a free ride — no opponent in the primary and none in November, according to the unofficial candidates list compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The other 12 districts will have contested elections between incumbent and challenger, either in the spring, the fall or both. In a healthy two-party system, that’s how it should be. Officeholders, even the good ones, should face competition every time they come up for election. Not this year, though, for voters in 48 percent of the local districts on the ballot.

Sir Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. In Allegheny County, we’re closer to all the others.


Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here