Are we still nominating Presidential candidates on June 2? Or did Donald Trump and Joe Biden already win in Pennsylvania?

Our COVID-19 fixation has driven the once delayed, now rapidly approaching primary election into the shadows.

To clarify: No, we did not ratify Pennsylvania’s delegates to nominate those two presumptive Republican and Democratic candidates.

This year, we do not elect United States senators.

But we do elect state senators, and state and federal members of their respective Houses of Representatives.

Incumbents are retiring, or moving on to other political races. State Sen. Joe Scarnati and Rep. Matt Gabler are retiring. State Rep. Cris Dush is seeking Scarnati’s Senate seat, along with two other Republicans and a Democrat. Several people are vying for the seats now held by Gabler and Dush.

We need to make decisions — NEXT WEEK!

Egad.

Don’t waste time looking to vote for likeable Dr. Anthony Fauci. That near octogenarian is extremely popular because of his calm, folksy TV appearances in connection with the novel coronavirus pandemic that has shut down our country and delayed the Pennsylvania primary that was supposed to be held earlier this month.

Lesser-known candidates are the office-seekers, and there are considerable differences among them. Even the same-party candidates in our area for state senate and state representatives display significant differences in governance, ranging from the nice-person (but ineffectual?) “Let’s work together” to the hard-nosed (but divisive?) “My way or the highway.”

Candidates love to sound tough: “I’ll fight for you.”

But we don’t need or want candidates who “fight.” We need and want candidates who can go to Harrisburg and Washington and persuade other legislators that their views should be respected, perhaps adopted, in whole or in part.

“Rambo” might win movie awards, but those tactics actually anger other legislators who — Surprise! — don’t pay attention to loudmouthed demagogues.

But to be successful, to get our state or nation moving in the directions we support, our officeholders need to be, not aggressive, but assertive; not argumentative, but persuasive; not ideological, but principled.

Come June 2, it won’t matter what the candidates say. Each candidate has just his or her own vote on Election Day.

They get their new jobs, or not, based on what we say, or based on whether or not we vote, either by mail or in person.

Election Day is our day to decide.

And, did we mention? It is NEXT WEEK already!

— Denny Bonavita

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