It’s been exactly a week since the Special Election. Dr. Jenn Rager-Kay ended up with 36.7% of the vote to David Rowe’s 63.2%. Republican write-in, Clair Moyer ended up with 183 votes. I’ll say it here and now — I’m upset with the result, I thought it was going to be a closer race. I thought that Clair would have earned more like 5–7% of the vote, and that a greater share of Republicans would have stayed home or voted for Dr. Jenn. But alas, they didn’t, and we’ve elected David Rowe.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the meaning of the results, and this article is an attempt to jot down my thoughts as I try to move on. First I’ll include some maps I found of the results. Next, I’ll share some of my take-aways and ‘what-ifs’. Lastly, I’d like to look ahead and speculate on the future of local Democratic politics. …


Nope, not a libertarian voter — I’m a liberation voter. If some of us aren’t free, none of us are free. We must have social, economic, and environmental justice. People that aim to work diligently to end poverty, racial injustice, the desecration of our environment, and violence in our communities earn my vote. I reject a politics that creates ‘in’ groups and ‘out’ groups, that’s both not helpful and dangerous. I believe that democracy is inherently valuable — we reach more equitable decisions with more people sitting at the table. Diversity is a strength, not a problem.

I cast my absentee ballot weeks ago, but I wanted to share who I voted…


Candidate for PA’s 84th Legislative District

Hometown: Hughesville

Current Town: Picture Rocks

Occupation: Retired U.S. Postmaster

Political Party: Democratic Party

Taylor Lightman: Why did you decide to run for office?

Linda Sosniak: The people living in the 84th are my neighbors. Like me, many grew up believing that if you worked hard you would get ahead. That’s not how things are today. By becoming a State Representative, I will be positioned to help Pennsylvanians have more opportunities. It is a way to have real impact on local and regional job creation, education, and environmental conservation. …


The 2018 race for US Senate in Pennsylvania has been relatively quite, but I’m okay with that. Voters have the choice between Bob Casey Jr., the incumbent Democrat, Lou Barletta, a current Republican congressman, Neal Gale, Green Party candidate, and Dale Kearns, the Libertarian candidate.

Despite, it’s sleepiness, I’m watching this race closely. Lou Barletta is a close ally of Donald Trump, who won Pennsylvania in 2016. How much water does this carry? Can Democrats win back the voters they lost in 2016 either because they voted for Trump or didn’t vote at all?

I’m going to engage in some speculation here to prognosticate the race. …


On July 22nd, 2018, I delivered the sermon at my home church, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Susquehanna Valley (UUCSV for short!). This sermon was a reflection on the past two years of my life, after college and before grad school. I hope that you find some meaning in it, but I wrote this more for me.

About a month or so ago, I was working in Mondragón Books. A gentleman came in and donated an awesome calendar with illustrated bears on it from the early 90’s. Me, knowing that Bruce Jackson collects old calendars, exclaimed, “Bruce Jackson would love this!” About 5 minutes later, Bruce Jackson, walks into the store with a crate of records he’s been trying to get rid of. …


Lewisburg, PA (11/14/2017) — Last Tuesday, Democrat Tony Stafford lost to Republican Char Gray during the contested race to replace Hank Baylor as East Buffalo Township (EBT) Supervisor. Stafford received 801 votes to Gray’s 1042. I’d like to address the following: the results in context of past elections; the structural reasons which led to a Republican victory (voter registration advantage, organized party structure, etc.), campaign specifics which led to a Republican victory — the tactics so to speak, and what the Democrats did well in 2017.

The Numbers:

Every close observer of the race for EBT knew that the race for supervisor would be uphill for the Democrats. Democrats are clearly still in low standing with some voters after the affordable housing units were built in Penn Commons — Gray comes from that conservative reaction campaign. EBT has always had relatively close elections, sometimes Democrats are able to eek out a victory. Here’s a look at the last 10 years of EBT Supervisor…


Lewisburg, PA [9/19/17] — Last Tuesday, a bipartisan group of activists, clergy, elected officials, and law enforcement gathered to call on the Pennsylvania Legislature to move forward on Senate Bill 501. It looks as though their push has worked. Nick Troutman, Communications Director for Sen. Yaw, stated “Senator Yaw said he would support this bill sponsored by Senator Killion.” via email.

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Lou Barletta has announced a run for Senate, challenging incumbent, Bob Casey Jr..

Yes, that’s right, the man who has most recently been in the news for allegedly misusing official resources and serving on the board of a Southern Poverty Law Center designated “Hate Group” is running against Bob Casey Jr.

Lou Barletta is a light-weight politician who’s electoral success is mostly due to his heavily gerrymandered district.

Bob Casey Jr. is a political machine. He has won 5 statewide general elections dating back to 1996, here are most of his PA electoral maps (I’m missing 1996):

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Bob Casey Jr. (Blue) victory in 2000

[7/16/17] Lewisburg, PA — On off years, we really just have snippets here and there to give us a preview for the upcoming elections. So us nerds follow special elections and campaign finance reports to give us insight into what’s happening.

Just last night (7/15/17) the Federal Election Commission released the fundraising totals for the second quarter, which begins in May and ends on the last day of June. Serious congressional races around these parts typically cost around $1 million, so a healthy off-year Q2 report would ideally feature some six-figure fundraising totals, minimal expenses, and a growing Cash on hand (COH). …


5–17–2017, [Lewisburg, PA] The 2017 municipal primary has come and gone, and us nerds are left to make sense of a bunch of data. In my opinion, the results in our own county reflect the national temperament. Locally, we saw a mixture of reduced Republican turnout, and a small increase in Democratic vote share shadowing the Comey firing and an unfolding constitutional crisis. That being said, the fundamentals of any election in Union County (outside of the Borough of Lewisburg), are that the Republicans hold an advantage. …

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Taylor Lightman

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