Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor has few official duties - president of the Senate, chair of the board of pardons - though it can be an important office.
In general, the governor can empower his or her second-in-command to take on priorities of the administration.
Pennsylvania needs a strong lieutenant governor in case the governor is unable to fulfill the duties of the office, for one reason or another. Remember, Mark Schweiker became governor when Tom Ridge was tapped to become the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Five men are running for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.
The Northeast Times endorses state Sen. Mike Stack.
Stack is a lawyer from Somerton who was elected to the Senate in 2000. He has easily been re-elected three times.
In addition, he is a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard, serving as a Judge Advocate General prosecutor.
Two notable issues that Stack has promoted in his time in the Senate are increased funding for higher education and creation of a tax credit for businesses that hire veterans.
If elected, Stack would be a strong partner for the governor since he knows members of the Senate so well. We could see him effectively lobbying both Democratic and Republican members of the Senate and House of Representatives.
If Pennsylvanians elect a Democratic governor in November, Stack would be well-positioned for the job of LG because the Senate and House will almost certainly remain in GOP control.
Stack gets a slight nod over former congressman Mark Critz.
As the Democratic Party continues to drift leftward, it is refreshing to see a candidate such as Critz who does not toe the party line on abortion, guns and same-sex marriage.
The other candidates are state Rep. Brandon Neuman, Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith. ••