Editor’s note: The Slate is an independent newspaper and does not support or oppose any candidate.
My name is Rich Sterner, and I am running for State Senate District 33 in the Pennsylvania Senate which includes all of Adams County, the eastern half of Franklin County, Cumberland County around Shippensburg, and York County around Hanover.
I am the Democratic Party candidate for State Senate District 33. However, I consider myself a moderate Democrat. In fact, for much of my voting life, I was a registered Republican — a “Reagan Republican.”
I learned to work with others to achieve something that I could never achieve on my own. I learned that everyone has something to contribute to the process, and everyone’s input needs to be valued.
I spent 25 years in public education, as a social studies teacher, and as a middle school and high school principal. I coached football, and in retirement, I am a member of the school board at Bermudian Springs School District. My experiences as a coach, a teacher, a principal, and a school board member taught me solutions require discussion, understanding and ultimately compromise.
A valuable lesson is to always look to the furthest point down the road. Visionary leadership requires the ability to see the long-term consequences of current actions. The ability to “see the furthest point down the road” makes it easier to determine the best course of action to achieve long-term benefits.
I decided to run for Pennsylvania Senate because I believe this type of visionary, results-oriented leadership is sorely lacking in Harrisburg. There are too many problems not being resolved due to partisan, political posturing and an unwillingness to compromise. I am interested in working to find long-term solutions to difficult issues. Those issues include: Providing affordable health insurance for everyone, which is not dependent on job security; securing fair and equitable funding for K-12 schools; enacting property tax reform preserving a high standard of local control; maintaining clean air and clean waterways without job losses due to environmental restrictions; putting an end to gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement; finding solutions to gun violence that don’t impinge on Second Amendment rights; promoting social justice and law enforcement reforms; and supporting volunteer emergency services and responders.
Achieving solutions requires leadership and vision — leadership that listens to all sides of an issue and consults with recognized experts; and vision that is focused on achieving a long-term goal. As an example, throughout the current pandemic crisis, I have consistently advocated for consulting with and following the guidance offered by medical experts, while keeping an eye on “the furthest point down the road” to ensure the health and safety for everyone.
As principal at Biglerville High School, I had the privilege of greeting each graduating senior. When I looked in their eyes, I saw the potential each one had to become a productive, contributing member of society. Ultimately, my decision to be your state senator is motivated by my desire to help these young people fulfill that potential. It is in that spirit that I ask for your vote.