156th District Q&A: Dan Truitt

This is the third of a series of question and answer interviews focusing on candidates for State Representative. The Times did not edit, alter or in any way change the responses. We do this to give the candidates a chance for an unfiltered opportunity to make their case to our readers. As always, we welcome your input.

1. Why are you running?


Dan Truitt

I ran in 2010 to bring a different view to Harrisburg and work to make it focus on real people and real issues again.  Unfortunately, things in Harrisburg move much more slowly than they do in the private sector.  We are making progress, but there is more to do.  I would like to return to the State House to continue the work that we have started on issues ranging from preventing bullying in schools to changing how and when the state borrows money.

2.  Our community is looking to elect you as a leader;  what would you want our readership and voters to know about how you demonstrate leadership?

Very simple – I lead by example.  I have served for just under four years now, and I believe the first thing people should do is look at my record. I believe a leader keeps his or her word; my record shows I have, on issues ranging from fiscal responsibility to reforming the culture of Harrisburg.  I refuse the taxpayer funded pension to lead by example on the need for pension reform.  I refuse the taxpayer funded per diems and other perks to lead by example on legislative reforms.  I also believe a leader must – at times – stand up to members of their own party to tell them they are wrong.  I have done that as well.

3. Please provide an example of a tough decision you’ve had to make.  Why was it tough?

The fact is, a lot of votes are “tough” and they should be.  Casting a vote – to me – means carefully looking at the issue and trying to determine what is the best vote for the majority of the people I represent.  I do this by using the knowledge I gain from listening to, meeting with, and taking input from literally thousands and thousands of residents.  Sometimes the decision isn’t simple…it’s “tough.”  Specifically, the recent vote on the transportation package/gas tax was difficult.  Many of our community’s leaders supported it, especially those in the business community.  Many residents — like me — know the value of repairing, improving, and maintaining our state’s infrastructure.  In the end though, the vast majority of local residents told me the increase included in the package was simply too much for them to afford right now.  As their representative, I voted “no” above the objection of many people I respect both here and in Harrisburg.

4. What make you uniquely qualified to deal with the diverse personalities, priorities and perspectives that you will find in the PA Legislature?

I am the only Professional Engineer in the Legislature — House or Senate.  I look at problems differently than many others.  I have been trained to look at problems and issues with an eye toward solutions.  I do this not only with engineering issues, but also with the challenges we face as legislators.

5. Why should voters vote for you?

I’ve kept my word and I work hard to do what’s right without influence of party or politics.  I said I would make Harrisburg politicians start thinking about how and how much of our money they spend.  Today we do.  I said I would make education a priority, and today we invest more money in public education than ever before — $10.5 billion this year alone.  I said I would work to help employers create jobs, and they have.  Today, unemployment in Pennsylvania is at its lowest rate in 6 years and it’s 0.7% lower than the national average.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to make sure our readership and voters know about you?

I grew up in a household where one parent was a Republican and the other was a Democrat.  So, I’m conditioned not to make assumptions about folks based on their party affiliation.  As Representative, I deal with the diverse personalities, priorities, and perspectives every day.  The way to deal with it is to do what I did in the private sector before becoming State Representative, and that which I have done since entering public service: find common ground and build from that strong foundation.  Following that strategy, I have been able to get Democrat legislators to join my effort to prevent and reduce school bullying, as well as joined with them on other issues.  I don’t think bipartisan is a dirty word, and that’s the attitude I bring to Harrisburg.

7. How should voters and our readership reach you if they have questions, or would like to get involved?

www.DanTruitt.com is the best and fastest way to reach the campaign.

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