Yeager made race productive, but voters back Masser's approach
Ted Yeager came on strong in the final weeks of the campaign for state representative in the 107th Legislative District.
His television and newspaper advertisements concisely laid out the issues - education funding, the impact of Marcellus Shale and Act 22 changes among the most important.
And while he would fall to Masser by 2,880 votes, a 57-43 percent margin, in Tuesday's election, the voters of the 107th - no matter who they supported - are all winners for his thorough effort.
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After three decades in which the bi-annual election of state representative saw few, if any, real challenges to former Democratic Rep. Robert E. Belfanti Jr., the last two elections since his retirement have raised the bar.
The Yeager vs. George Zalar Democratic primary of 2010 was a hard-fought race that set up Zalar vs. Masser in the fall - a battle between two newcomers for state office that got nasty in the later stages and which Masser, ultimately, won handily.
This year, Yeager had primary competition again, this time defeating Chris Pfaff of Cooper Township, Montour County, to set up the fall showdown with Masser, who was unopposed in the primary. Yeager would give Masser a much better tussle then he had two years ago.
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Yeager's focus on the issues was appreciated by the electorate and his opponent. And they required that Masser formulate worthy responses, which he did.
Despite the pain of education funding changes, Masser did well. He endured the poor timing of a visit by Gov. Corbett to Paxinos for a fundraiser in the days following a 21-person staffing cut at Shamokin Area School District this past spring. In fact, in Tuesday's election, he had even more votes and almost the exact same percentage of his overall votes coming from the three 107th municipalities that make up Shamokin Area (2,457 votes in 2010 and 2,646 this time, both just under 23 percent of his total).
That tells us the pursuit by Masser and others of a smaller government and an improved business climate through lower taxes and sensible regulations is supported by the majority of local voters, despite cries from critics who ask for the same things until they realize it might impact them.
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With that, we wish Masser the best in his second term. While Yeager says he won't be back for a third try, rest assured he got the incumbent's attention, and we hope someone else, if Yeager doesn't reconsider, steps up to make sure that happens again in 2014.