Featured Candidate: A.J. Boni, House District 52
July 29, 2014 | By Sophie Stone
As a township supervisor responsible for overseeing many key local issues, A.J. Boni understands that serving his community is a full-time job. Now, A.J. is ready to bring his experience to Harrisburg and is running for the 52nd house district seat, which includes both Fayette and Westmoreland Counties.
"While serving as a Perry Township Supervisor for the past 14 years, and as a member of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Executive Board, I have witnessed firsthand the hardships imposed on local governments in the form of unfunded mandates," A.J. said.
As a township supervisor, A.J. dealt with the impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling, major road renovations, and water quality improvements. To better serve his constituents, he routinely hosted forums and informational sessions to discuss each local project with the public.
But A.J.'s public service isn't limited to his township supervisor duties -- he's also a volunteer firefighter.
"As a 30-year volunteer member of the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department and now the Assistant Chief, I've been on the front lines dealing with the challenges of funding volunteer fire departments who are charged with protecting their local communities."
Volunteer fire departments and ambulance squads were just two of the groups hurt by Governor Corbett and the Republican-led legislature's gimmick-based budget. In addition to cutting $30 million from a loan fund that helps volunteer fire companies purchase equipment, Corbett and GOP lawmakers refused to expand Medicaid for the state's uninsured and refused to restore its $1 billion cuts to public education -- forcing school districts to increase property taxes.
A.J. lives in Star Junction, Fayette County with his wife Suzanne, and their daughter, Alexis, who has autism. Making sure that Pennsylvanians with special needs are provided the resources necessary to succeed is deeply personal to A.J.
"I am a proud parent of a child with autism, and I have seen firsthand the challenges that parents of special needs children face day in and day out," A.J. added. "If elected, I will fight to make sure special needs children and adults have access to services to ensure that they receive the support and care that they need."
Campaign for a Fresh Start Chair Katie McGinty praised A.J.'s public service and commitment to making southwestern Pennsylvania a better place to live.
"With A.J.'s decades of dedicated service to his community, it's clear that he would be a true advocate for the people of the 52nd Legislative District," McGinty said. "He has the experience to serve effectively. Most importantly, A.J. Boni has the right priorities and will make funding our public schools and creating jobs a priority."
"I know the people of the 52nd District, and I'm ready to fight for policies that are best for them. I will do everything I can if elected to be the voice of my community in Harrisburg," A.J. said.