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CAMPAIGN 2014: Jefferson County commissioner joins race for 66th District

on March 07, 2014 10:55 AM

Jefferson County Commissioner Paul Corbin has announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for the 66th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Corbin, of Washington Township, Jefferson County, has filed the first batch of required signatures to get on the ballot.

“Jefferson and Indiana counties need a state representative who knows how to work with the private sector to create jobs,” Corbin said in a release. “That’s what I have done as a Jefferson County commissioner, and that’s what I will do as our next state representative.”

Corbin cited his record of job creation in Jefferson County as evidence that he knows what it takes to help bring family-sustaining jobs to the community. Under his leadership, companies like Schlumberger in Brookville established roots in Jefferson County, while others like Sintergy in Reynoldsville expanded their operations.

Corbin said it is important to secure a Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone designation for the Brookville Industrial Park, which will offer tax savings to companies that locate in the business park.

“Getting that KOEZ designation will be a huge incentive for job creation and growing our local economy,” Corbin said. “That process was a cooperative effort between the county, the township, the school board, the Department of Community and Economic Development (who oversees the KOEZ program) and our state legislators; this is the same type of cooperative effort I hope to promote as state representative.”

Corbin noted that creating jobs is only part of the solution. Another, he said, is offering quality education, including technical skill training. He cited Jefferson County’s partnership with Butler County Community College and their opening of a location in Brockway, in the former Owens-Illinois Glass building, as an example of a successful initiative.

“Without good schools we will never have a sufficiently educated workforce, and that will cripple the economy for coming generations,” Corbin said. “The key to providing quality education is to make sure we are getting the best return on our tax dollars and that those monies are being used most effectively and efficiently. That starts with decisions made cooperatively by legislators in conjunction with school district administrators and board members.”

Other top priorities for Corbin include:

• Serving as a citizen legislator: “I will never forget that I work for the people of this district,” Corbin said. “That’s why I will turn down the perks of the office, such as pension, per diem expense allowances and state vehicle entitlements. I will serve no more than three terms and will focus on representing the people who elected me, aggressively keeping the priorities of the 66th District at the forefront in Harrisburg.”

• Property tax reform to ease the burden on senior citizens.

• Agriculture and Marcellus shale opportunities.

• Protecting conservative values: “I’m pro-life, pro-gun, and I will protect and fight for our conservative values every day in Harrisburg,” Corbin said. “Conservatives can count on me to be there for our values.”

“Our region is blessed to have strong representation in Harrisburg,” Corbin said. “By working together, we can foster improvements and increase efficiency to state government operations, all while protecting the needs of the people, particularly rural Pennsylvanians.”

The seat is being vacated by state Rep. Sam Smith, who will retire after the end of his 14th term on Nov. 30.

Two other Jefferson County men have also announced their candidacy: Chris Dush, of Brockway, and Phil Mennetti, of Gaskill Township.

The 66th District encompasses all of Jefferson County, northern Indiana County (Marion Center and Smicksburg boroughs and Banks, Canoe, East Mahoning, Grant, North Mahoning and West Mahoning townships) and one township in Armstrong County.

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