Candidates for top state offices should have similar positions

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The rationale used in the Post-Gazette endorsement of Mark Critz for lieutenant governor on May 4 (“Lt. Governor: Critz Is Best for the Democratic Ticket”) boggles the mind. The recommendation that a Western Pennsylvania person appear on the Democratic ballot opposite the current governor who hails from this side of the state is nice, but the editorial suggests that the key qualification for serving as lieutenant governor is experience as an aide.

History is full of instances where the No. 2 person in a governmental entity is thrust into a leadership position. For starters, a grand jury is still hearing evidence concerning improprieties during the administration of Pittsburgh’s immediate past mayor who assumed his office upon the death of the previous mayor.

At the top of Mr. Critz’s resume is his service as the chief of staff for the late Rep. John Murtha. Neither man is known for his progressive positions on the issues of the day. Presumably the Democratic gubernatorial nominee would be much more liberal than Mr. Critz. One does wonder if he would be able to convincingly promote positions with which he doesn’t agree.

So the editorial is asking us to vote for candidates with different underpinnings for the top two offices in the state. Well-run organizations inevitably have leaders with harmonious philosophies. I hope we will nominate a pair of candidates whose positions are compatible and aligned with those of the Democratic Party.

Squirrel Hill

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