Featured Candidate: Mike Beyer, House District 131
October 03, 2014 | By Brandon Cwalina
Mike Beyer is a longtime Lehigh Valley resident who grew up in Lower Saucon Township where he was a Boy Scout, played ice hockey, and graduated from Saucon Valley High School. Now, he's running to represent Pennsylvania's 131st House district, which includes portions of Montgomery, Lehigh, and Northampton counties.
"I'm running for a better 131st. I'm running to make sure we have a voice that will work for us and fight against the gridlock that hurts our schools, our communities, and our state."
Mike says Justin Simmons, the incumbent representative, has failed to stand up for the issues important to the people of the 131st district.
"Representative Simmons is one of the most extreme members of the Republican Party in the legislature, and his views are out of touch with the voters and families in our area. I want to change that. If elected, I will work in a bipartisan manner to end the corrosive atmosphere in Harrisburg and to stop the attacks on public education and middle-class Pennsylvanians."
As an active member of his community, Mike has heard the concerns of his friends and neighbors. Number one on 131st residents' list of concerns is the rise in property taxes due to Governor Corbett's $1 billion in education cuts.
"Tom Corbett cut funding for education by $1 billion, which forced districts to increase property taxes and devastated our schools. I aim to fix that. All children have the right to a well-rounded and well-funded education, but under this administration, that's not what they're getting."
Mike is also frustrated by Republicans' budget mismanagement. Corbett and Justin Simmons have passed gimmick-ridden budgets that slashed education funding, forced the state to take out a $1.5 billion bailout loan, and resulted in five credit downgrades for the state. The 131st's most vulnerable citizens -- especially seniors -- have been disproportionately affected by these reckless fiscal policies.
"The mismanagement in Harrisburg has to end. Governor Corbett's misplaced priorities have harmed our state's fiscal health and sunk Pennsylvania to 47th in job creation. If elected, I'll help bring well-paying, middle-class jobs back to the state by investing in the people of Pennsylvania."
Growing up, Mike spent much of his childhood moving around the country and the world with his parents, who were both in active military service in the United States Air Force. Later, Mike received both his bachelor's degree and law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. While in law school, he served as an advocate for senior citizens and worked to help revitalize Pennsylvania's urban communities.
If elected, Mike vows to bring a different kind of voice to Harrisburg.
"It's time that we had someone willing to fight for our community -- not a career politician in the pockets of special interests. We need to invest in education and our infrastructure to create good, middle-class jobs and keep property taxes from skyrocketing."
Mike is also committed to enacting a fair extraction tax on Marcellus Shale drilling and stronger environmental safeguards. In Harrisburg, he'll fight to restore Pennsylvania's economy, fight for equality for all Pennsylvanians regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, and fight for women's rights.
Chairwoman of the Campaign for a Fresh Start Katie McGinty commented:
"Incumbent Justin Simmons has voted with Governor Corbett 98% of the time and has been a reliable supporter of his failed policies. In contrast, Mike Beyer is a candidate who will put the needs of his constituents above all other interests. He will support the priorities that will bring Pennsylvania out of the bottom in education funding and job creation and put us on a path to a better Pennsylvania."
If elected, Mike will fight to get things done and to get Harrisburg working again for Pennsylvania families.
"I am running because I care about our families and our communities. For too long, Harrisburg politicians have been fighting amongst themselves instead of fighting for everyday Pennsylvanians. I will change that. I'm running for a better 131st and a better Pennsylvania."
You can find out more about Mike at his website, http://www.votebeyer.com.