Cly­mer faces chal­lenger White­sell in 145th Dis­trict race

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - ELECTION 2012 - By Meghan Ross

Demo­crat Mary White­sell is vy­ing for the state rep­re­sen­ta­tive seat for the 145th Dis­trict, which Repub­li­can Paul Cly­mer holds now.

Cly­mer, 75, lives in West Rock­hill Town­ship and has been the state rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the 145th Dis­trict since 1980. He has lived in the dis­trict for more than 50 years. He went to Pen­nridge High School and Muh­len­berg Col­lege, served two years in the mil­i­tary and worked as a credit man­ager at Lanke­nau Hospi­tal.

White­sell, 57, was born in Hun­gary but moved to the United States to es­cape Hun­gary’s re­pres­sive gov­ern­ment; she be­came a ci­ti­zen at 18. White­sell now lives in Spring­field Town­ship and has lived within the dis­trict for about 30 years.

White­sell also has 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing as a para­le­gal. Some of her work in­cluded pre­par­ing multi-depart­ment bud­gets, pro­vid­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive lead­er­ship and le­gal sup­port and work­ing with com­pany per­son­nel throughout the United States and abroad.

Arts, ed­u­ca­tion and the en­v­i­ron- ment are three ar­eas in which White­sell said she has served her community. She is also the trea­surer of the Bucks County Demo­cratic Party.

Both can­di­dates said they be­lieve jobs are the most im­por­tant is­sue for the state.

Cly­mer noted the nat­u­ral gas drilling in the Mar­cel­lus Shale re­gion has cre­ated thou­sands of jobs and sus­tained peo­ple in that area. The drilling has also had an eco­nomic im­pact on other in­dus­tries in the area, not nec­es­sar­ily re­lated to drilling, ac­cord­ing to Cly­mer.

“It’s a clean source of en­ergy,” Cly­mer said, also not­ing that the drilling both cre­ates jobs and al­lows the coun­try to be less de­pen­dent on for­eign en­ergy sources. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

White­sell, on the other hand, is against the nat­u­ral gas drilling act. She said the act was made be­fore all the facts were made avail­able.

“There are ways to han­dle it that are en­vi­ron­men­tally and fis­cally re­spon­si­ble,” White­sell said.

She rec­og­nized that there is rev- enue from the drilling, but said she wants to make sure the rev­enue stays within the dis­trict and within the state. She also said she wanted ad­e­quate reg­u­la­tion and fi­nances to make sure those reg­u­la­tions are en­forced. There is also a need for fund­ing for any resid­ual ef­fects af­ter the drilling, she said.

Like Cly­mer, White­sell also said she be­lieved that jobs were a pri­or­ity. She said that there have been a loss of jobs in the area and that some lo­cal busi­nesses have had to move away.

One re­cent con­cern of White­sell’s is a lack of community space for lo­cal in­ter­ac­tions and com­mu­ni­ties. She said she wants to work with lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and get the sup­port to cre­ate spa­ces where these in­ter­ac­tions be­tween lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses can ex­ist, so cit­i­zens are not forced to go out­side the community.

“If our community dies out, peo­ple’s daily lives will suf­fer,” she said.

She said she also cares about ed­u­ca­tional needs like ad­e­quate fund­ing for school pro­grams. White­sell said she rec­og­nizes that the dis­trict’s in­ter­ests are broad, and she can work with both Democrats and Republicans.

“We need to come up with ami­ca­ble ways to best serve the peo­ple of this dis­trict. We need to work to­gether,” White­sell said. “We need to roll up our sleeves and be a part of the daily things that im­pact peo­ple’s lives.”

In ad­di­tion to job cre­ation, Cly­mer said he is also in­ter­ested in agri­cul­ture, the state’s num­ber one in­dus­try.

“We need to continue to in­vest in agri­cul­ture and help our farm­ers,” he said.

Fund­ing for the tourism in­dus­try is an­other pri­or­ity for Cly­mer. He said he would like to continue to ad­ver­tise and en­cour­age tourists to come to the state’s his­tor­i­cal land­marks, from Val­ley Forge to Get­tys­burg to In­de­pen­dence Hall, and to par­tic­i­pate in the state’s fish­ing, hunt­ing and camp­ing sites.

Some of the bills Cly­mer said he was proud to pass are the lobby dis­clo­sure bill and the right-to-know bill. Both of these bills ben­e­fited cit­i­zens be­cause they gave in­sight into how the gov­ern­ment works. He also helped to save the nu­ak­er­town swamp, “an en­vi­ron­men­tal jewel,” from be­ing de­vel­oped, said Cly­mer.

Re­cently, Cly­mer spon­sored an act that would cre­ate a hot­line re­source for hu­man traf­fick­ing — the act had both Repub­li­can and Demo­crat back­ers.

Cly­mer notes his 32 years of ex­pe­ri­ence al­lows him to rep­re­sent his dis­trict well.

“I bring hon­esty and in­tegrity to the ta­ble,” he said, in ad­di­tion.

He also notes that he is re­spon­si­ble, at­tend­ing meet­ings in Harrisburg, hold­ing pub­lic hear­ings and go­ing to lo­cal func­tions.

“There’s noth­ing more im­por­tant than the con­stituents,” Cly­mer said. “I try to be un­der­stand­ing and com­pas­sion­ate when peo­ple come in my of­fice. I lis­ten and care be­cause they are real peo­ple with real prob­lems.”

Nei­ther can­di­date was aware of a sched­uled de­bate be­tween them.

Paul Cly­mer

Mary White­sell

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