Letter to the editor: Halvorson would serve us well

March 13, 2018 GMT

Congressman Bill Shuster has indicated he will retire at the end of his ninth term and work until then with President Trump to bolster the nation’s infrastructure, rather than campaign for a 10th term.

More likely, Shuster has read the handwriting on the wall. In a December survey, voters in the 9th Congressional District were asked, if the primary election were conducted right now between Shuster and challenger Art Halvorson, which candidate would they vote for. The results: Shuster, 36 percent, Halvorson, 34 percent, and undecided, 26 percent. Allowing for margin of error, that’s a dead heat.

Shuster outspent Halvorson 17-1 in the 2016 primary, yet Shuster won by only 1 percent of the vote. Here’s just one of the many reasons why: After 9/11, the Coast Guard was moved to the newly formed Department of Homeland Security with all the other military services. To assure negotiations among the various departments moved smoothly, the Coast Guard formed a committee of its top officers to work with the various government agencies involved. Halvorson not only served on that very select committee, but he chaired the committee and received the Legion of Merit medal for his leadership.

Halvorson’s outstanding experiences would serve the 9th Congressional District and America well. But, today, elections are bought. Let’s hope our 9th District election is rooted in character and capability.

Al Mason Jr.