The field has narrowed considerably since April's primary, but voters in the 4th Congressional District still have a diverse field of candidates from whom to choose a replacement for the retiring Rep. Todd Platts, R-York County.
Four men vying for the open seat run the political spectrum: a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian and an Independent.
They have vastly different backgrounds, philosophies and goals for the district.
Libertarian Mi chael Koffenberger: A latecomer to the race, the Hopewell Township resident joined the ballot in August as a third-party candidate.
Originally from Baltimore, the 41-year-old police officer in Baltimore County said he entered the race so he could tell his two young
He said Republicans and Democrats are not willing to work on the problems and don't fix anything, and he wants to reduce the size of government and bring home all troops involved in foreign conflicts.
Koffenberger said he would like to restore power to a smaller level of government, reducing the "top-down" legislating that occurs in federal departments such as the Department of Education.
His positions on some issues deviate so far from mainstream that they can't be categorized as "left" or "right." For example, he thinks abortion should be legal not because he's pro-choice, but because he doesn't want the government to tell people what's right. And despite his position in law enforcement, he thinks all drugs should be legalized.
Democrat Harry Perkinson: The 60-year-old engineer an
nounced his candidacy in January and won his party's nomination in the April primary, defeating Harrisburg attorney Ken Lee.
Perkinson said his focus would be to improve educational opportunities for children, grow the district's manufacturing base and preserve the environment.
He said he brings a unique combination
"I have an education, for which I worked and paid for on my own, that spans from the liberal arts through the engineering disciplines to the science of running a business," he said.
"I have been trained to solve complex problems with simple solutions and to work with a team to solve problems. I am the best candidate because I promise to represent all of the citizens of the 4th Congressional District equally."
Perkinson has raised eyebrows with candid delivery of his left-leaning positions during debates, however unpopular those ideas might be in a predominantly conservative district.
Rep. Scott Perry, R-Dillsburg: The 50-year-old third-term incumbent legislator decided not to run for re-election for his seat in the state's House of Representatives before the primary, focusing on his bid for Congress.
The risk paid off, as Perry rose to the top of a crowded field of Republicans to win the nomination in April.
Running on a platform of smaller government and fiscal and social conservatism, Perry touts his experience as a small-business owner and his experience as a legislator. He has stated his main goals as reducing federal spending and decreasing the national debt.
Perry gained headlines as a statesmen when took a hiatus from the House so he could serve with the National Guard in Iraq and Bosnia. He garnered
While he's anti-abortion, a recent interview in which he said he's not opposed to gay civil unions -- as long as they're not called "marriages" -- is perhaps an indication of a slight drift from right to middle on social issues since the primary.
Independent Wayne Wolff: Also a latecomer to the race, 60-year-old North Hopewell Township resident Wayne Wolff is also a native of Baltimore.
Wolff said he plans to draw advantage from dissatisfaction with Republicans and Democrats whose priorities have gone awry, with major party politicians causing gridlock and "politically grandstanding instead of doing what's best for the citizens and the country itself."
"I will vote in the interest of the country and the citizens instead of along party lines," said Wolff, who's running with no party affiliation on a small-government, pro-business platform.
A newcomer to York County politics, Wolff works for Baltimore Gas and Electric as a key account representative.
He said he would work for the elimination or drastic reduction of federal departments such as the Department of Energy and the Department of Education because they're redundant and unneeded.
Wolff would also reduce government regulation of businesses, focusing on cutting red tape instead of government intervention, he said.
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at email@example.com.