Joyce best represents our region

Whoever is elected to succeed retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster in the newly created 13th Pennsyl­vania Congressional District will start at the bottom rung in committees and party roles.

That’s a fact of life in Washington when a longtime incumbent steps aside; seniority means clout in terms of taking the lead and influencing decisions on issues important and not-so-important.

Two excellent candidates from Blair County are vying to succeed Shuster: Republican John Joyce, an Altoona dermatologist; and Democrat Brent Ottaway, a professor in the Department of English/Communications and Modern Languages at Saint Francis University.

Both have the knowledge, will and stamina to represent the newly drawn district — which is replacing Pennsyl­vania’s 9th — competently and commendably.

But it’s those steps on the congressional ladder that should be the main focus of voters in Blair and the rest of the 13th District, which comprises an area covering all or parts of counties from Westmoreland in the west to Cumberland and Adams in the east.

While we don’t feel that Ottaway’s positions on several key issues line up with those of our readership, we commend him for bringing those issues to light, for opening dialogue on them respectfully and for giving voters a choice.

Both candidates tout their ability to compromise as a big part of their political personality, and that’s a skill that’s sorely needed in Washington right now.

From this vantage point, it appears Joyce will be able to ascend that ladder more quickly and, thus, achieve quicker, better results for the district and the country as a whole.

That is why the Mirror has chosen to endorse Joyce and hopes that the district’s voters will agree.

Not only is it our opinion that Joyce has an edge over Ottaway in terms of building clout in the nation’s capital, due to his support of President Donald Trump and the president’s policies, Joyce’s stances on the important issues with which this country is dealing are more in line with the conservative views that are dominant in this district.

Considering all that’s happening on the national front, the next two years will be vital in terms of if and how the United States moves forward.

Joyce has the ability to make his presence, talents and skills appreciated, despite his status as a freshman lawmaker.

Joyce’s campaign is built upon the correct viewpoints of establishing a free-market healthcare system that is fair to all Americans, maintaining and protecting Social Security and Medicare, keeping America’s military strong, protecting the Second Amend­ment and backing a pro-business model with workforce development.

He also wants to halt frivolous federal spending, work on behalf of a balanced federal budget, secure the nation’s borders as a step in the fight against the influx of dangerous drugs, and work to ensure that every veteran can go to any hospital in America for medical care.

Numerous times since announcing his candidacy on March 19, Joyce has touted himself as a common-sense conservative who will put the people of the 13th District first, and he backs the principle of term limits.

On May 9, prior to the spring primaries, when Joyce and the seven other 13th District GOP hopefuls expressed their views in the Mirror, Joyce made the commendable statement that the “people in our district will be my caucus. My voting card belongs to you, not D.C. special interests.”

It’s our view that 13th District voters should place their hopes, trust and confidence in John Joyce because of the many positive attributes that he has to offer.


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