Candace Cabanas, the Republican running in the special election for the 140th House District, has received the Pennsylvania Manufacturer Association’s (PMA) endorsement.
The trade association represents more than a half million employees on “our shop floors and millions of additional jobs throughout our supply chain and distribution networks,” said Executive Director Carl Marrara. Statewide, it represents the $101.95 billion manufacturing sector in public policy.
At a Wednesday press conference, Marrara said his organization favors pro-growth economic policies that “reduce the baseline costs of creating and keeping jobs in our commonwealth.”
“Job creators in the 140th District need reliable and affordable access to energy, sensible and predictable taxation, and a prepared and available workforce to be competitive, to drive down inflationary forces, and to attract new business investment to our commonwealth.”
The Democrat-controlled House “has failed to govern on these important issues,” said Marrara.
The state’s growth is stagnant, and many studies and reports rank Pennsylvania near the bottom when it comes to taxation and regulation. But its location is desirable, the workforce has a “can-do attitude,” there are many educational institutions, and “an abundance of natural resources.”
Cabanas will focus on pro-growth policies, he said.
“She’ll be the friend job creators in this district need,” he said.
Cabanas said she would also be the listening ear in Harrisburg that residents need. She pointed to all the problems facing the U.S. under President Joe Biden, including inflation, the border crisis, and homelessness.
“Even Gov. (Josh) Shapiro has recognized businesses are struggling to stay in Pennsylvania under a tax program that’s not competitive with neighboring states,” Cabanas said. “This, in turn, creates an out-migration of businesses and working-age residents that is impacting our struggling communities.”
“To add to that struggle, Pennsbury School Board directors decided we need a new school,” said Cabanas, a mother who has worked in health care and the restaurant industry. “And they’re passing that burden off to the taxpayers here. We now have a 4.1 percent tax increase.
“I want our education assets being used to the greatest advantage of our students,” she added. She wants to see better coordination between the school district, workforce training, and technical schools. She also favors school choice.
“We have to get creative,” she said. “We have to have a better budget. No one bails the average citizen out. And I want to speak up for that citizen who is struggling to keep their gas tank full and to keep meals on the table for their family.”
PMA donated $2,500 to Cabanas’ campaign, said Marrara, who noted the Lower Bucks County area was founded on manufacturing. A Google search showed at least 35 manufacturers in Falls Township alone.
PMA endorses around a dozen candidates in each election cycle, he said.
Jim Thompson, a retired union carpenter who has lived in Falls Township for 70 years, was at Puss N Boots in Fairless Hills to support Cabanas.
“I hate politics,” said Thompson. “But I’m not happy with what’s going on. I blame Doylestown (county government). Maybe the corruption has always been there, but to me, it’s stinking.”
State Reps. Kristin Marcell (R-Richboro) and Joe Hogan (R-Feasterville) came out to support Cabanas as well.
The race for the 140th, which includes Falls Township and part of Middletown Township, is being widely watched because the House is now tied 101-101. A vacancy arose when former Rep. John Galloway (D-Levittown) was elected as a district justice in November.
Democrat Jim Prokopiak, a lawyer, Pennsbury school board member, and former Falls Township supervisor, is Cabanas’ opponent in the Feb. 13 special election. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee named Prokopiak its first “spotlight candidate of 2024” and donated $50,000 to the House Democratic Caucus. A chunk of that money will likely bolster Prokopiak’s campaign.
Although the district leans Democrat, Cabanas said she’s been working hard to convince voters to vote for her and knocking on doors to meet people. She said many Democrats and independents she has talked to are fed up with Biden’s policies and are ready to vote Republican.
Cabanas said, “I ask that you trust me to speak up for those residents’ concerns down here and work hard to find the right solution. I pledge to do everything in my power to represent our working-class values and make middle-class priorities front and center as I represent the community in Harrisburg.”