Contribute Now to Gimme a T! Help turn central PA blue

by Terry Hart

Central Pennsylvania has long been controlled by Republicans and ignored by Democrats. That's about to change.

With the upcoming mid-term elections, Democrats have a chance to regain the majority in the U.S. House.

They also have the chance to regain majorities across the nation in state legislatures. While not as popular as national races, state legislatures play a very important role and should not be ignored.

Democrats in Pennsylvania in particular have an uphill -- but very possible -- chance of regaining the majority in the state house and senate. With a Democratic governor and a Democratic legislature, PA will play a prominent role on the national scene leading up to the next presidential election, specifically regarding issues such as health care, the environment, and civil rights.

While a lot of attention is focused on the more urban areas of PA, the rural districts should not be ignored. A win in central PA -- the so-called "T" -- of just a few seats can get Democrats the seats needed to win majority status.

Luckily, we have many committed and excellent candidates running for change in central PA. They have the energy and motivation to win, they just need some outside support to win in November.

Below, you will find a list of these candidates. Please consider donating. State races get a lot more mileage out of contributions, especially in rural areas. Five dollars is the minimum to get started -- pocket change in today's world -- and every one of those dollars will go toward victory in November.

Even if you can't donate, spread the word. Email your friends and family, if you blog mention this page on your blog, post the banner below with a link back to this site.

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Image of Tony Barr

Tony Barr


Tony Barr is no politician. He’s a Bedford County special education teacher in the Everett school district. He has spent most of his professional life helping to improve the lives of disadvantaged children. He doesn’t just talk about values; he puts them into practice every day. Values like fairness and compassion for the least among us.

Tony lives on Blue Knob in Blair County with his wife Liz and two small boys. Until recently they were content to help out with local Democratic organizations. Like a lot of people, Tony worried about the direction the country is heading. He’s gotten angry at the way money seems to rule the actions of our representatives in Washington. And like many others, he thinks it is past time for change in Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.

When Tony heard the Democratic Party wasn’t going to stand a candidate against Bill Shuster, an underperforming politics-as-usual rubber stamp if there ever was one, he was appalled. Instead of complaining about it, Tony Barr stepped up. With just two weeks before the May 16 primary he organized a successful write-in campaign. It took energized volunteers and a lot of hard work, but Tony is now the official Democratic candidate on the ballot.

Image of Chris Carney

Chris Carney


Who is Chris Carney?

* Lt. Commander Navy Reserves * Senior Terrorism and Intelligence Advisor at the Pentagon * Penn State Associate Professor of Political Science * Husband of 18 years * … and very proud father of five

A Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve, Chris Carney served multiple tours overseas and was activated for operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle, and Southern Watch.

After 9/11, Chris served at the Pentagon as an intelligence analyst and senior advisor on intelligence and counterterrorism issues. Chris coordinated counterterrorism activities in the Middle East and later worked on the integration of national-level intelligence products in the effort to destroy international terrorist networks.

Chris grew up in rural Iowa, near Cedar Rapids. He graduated in 1981 from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa where he double majored in Environmental Science and U.S. Diplomatic History. Chris worked his way through college as an EMT.

After college, Chris did graduate work at the University of Wyoming, where he met his future wife Jennifer. After enjoying teaching at the University of Wyoming, Chris decided to pursue a career in higher education.

In 1992, Chris and Jennifer moved their young family to Northeastern Pennsylvania when Chris was offerred a position at Penn State University in Scranton.

As an Associate Professor at Penn State, Chris teaches courses in U.S. Foreign Policy, American Government, and U.S. Security Policy.

Chris lives in Dimock, Pa. with his wife Jennifer and their five children. Their oldest is a freshman in high school and their youngest just started kindergarten.

Image of Phil Avillo

Phil Avillo


Phil Avillo has lived a life characterized by leadership, service, and commitment. Whether it be as a US Marine officer serving his country in Vietnam, as a board member and President of the York Suburban School Board serving his community, as a Professor of American history, and as a youth coach serving our community's children, Phil has touched the lives of literally thousands of Americans of every age and from every walk of life. Now Phil has committed himself to leading and serving the citizens of Pennsylvania's 19th Congressional District. When he arrives in Washington, he will tackle with that same spirit of leadership and service our most pressing priorities.

Jason Leisey


"Ever since I was a young boy I wanted to be a soldier. Through hard work and dedication I made that dream come true. I enjoyed being a Staff Sergeant, a Non-Commissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. I also loved serving my country, and at the end of the day I knew I was making a meaningful contribution.

Unfortunately I can't perform these duties anymore because of injuries received from a suicide bomber in Iraq . I struggled for months knowing that my military career was going to end but not knowing what I was going to do with my life. During this time I received overwhelming support from the community of Lancaster County . It was that steadfast support and my faith that helped see me through those most trying of times.

As the door of my military career was closing another door was opened and I found a new way to serve. There are so many issues that must be addressed in Harrisburg . We have to fix our broken health care system. We have to strengthen our economy. We have to strengthen all of our schools. We have to stand up for our veterans. We have to stand up for our seniors. We have to stand up for our children. For all of this to happen we must first restore honesty and integrity to Harrisburg .

This is a time when public confidence in our elected officials has fallen to an all time low. From the outrageous pay raise to lobbyists spending $1.4 million on each senator, and the legislators putting special interests before the people that they were elected to serve Harrisburg is overflowing with problems. I know that with the support of the people of Lancaster and Chester Counties I can go to Harrisburg and be a force for positive change. "

Scott Conklin


Centre County Commissioner H. Scott Conklin was first elected as Centre County Commissioner in 1999 and, by unanimous vote, became Chairman of the Centre County Board of Commissioners on January 3, 2000 for a four-year term. As Board Chairman, he served as Chairman of Salary Board, Retirement Board, Employee Benefits Trust, and Board of Assessment. Re-elected in 2003, he also serves on numerous other County boards, including Elections, Emergency Communications, Criminal Justice Advisory, Prison, SARA-LEPC (SuperFund Amendments Reauthorization Act of 1986-Local Emergency Planning Committee) and the Finance Committee. His participation on community boards include the Bellefonte/Intervalley Chamber, Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, Centre Region MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization), C-Net (Government and Education Access Channel), Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership, SEDA-COG (Susquehanna Economic Development Association - Council of Governments), and United Way.

Steve Connolley


Steve Connolley, 52, is a computer and Internet professional who has been employed over the past 15 years as the Internet Systems Administrator for Little League International in Williamsport, PA (2000-2006), an Instructor for the Technology Transfer Center, Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA (1993-2004), and an Instructor for the Center for Academic Computing at the Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA (1991-1993).

He has served as a school director of the Milton Area School District since 2002, representing residents of White Deer Township, Union County, along with Turbot and West Chillisquaque Townships in Northumberland County. In 2005, he served as president of the Board of Education.

Also in 2005, he was elected to the board of directors of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit and became the organization’s president in July 2006.

Steve is a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Lewisburg where he acts as an Extraordinary Minister. He is also a long-time volunteer for the Public Library for Union County, assisting in the annual book sale fundraiser.

Steve lives in White Deer Township, Union County, with his wife of 21 years, Kay Boyles, his daughter, Caroline (20), and their two cats, Angel and Kitty Boy Floyd.

Andrew Alosi


Andrew Alosi has lived his entire life within the 89th District growing up in Shippensburg. He is a 1996 graduate of Shippensburg Area Senior High School and a non-traditional student at Shippensburg University. He is one course short of a bachelor's degree in public administration and is expecting to graduate May 2006. Alosi works as a Child Care Director at Vision Quest and married in August to his wife Kara, formerly of Waynesboro and graduate of Elizabethtown College.

Having worked in the juvenile justice field for three years at Vision Quest, he has also worked at the capacity of Case Manager. Vision Quest is a military-structured treatment program for delinquent and dependent youth. There are many community service opportunities through his job that give Alosi time to volunteer; such as Chambersburg's Ice Fest.

During his years in high school, Alosi was active in politics. He volunteered for former state representative Jeff Coy's election campaigns from 1992 to 2000.

"It has been some time since I have been involved in politics. I feel that my time working and living the hardships people face gives me a better understanding of the issues that matter to taxpayers in the 89th District." Alosi goes on to say, "I want to focus on the immediate needs of the 89th District and not wait for instructions from Harrisburg. There needs to be a local race on local issues."

"I am running a grassroots campaign and spending my time talking with the people, not donors. Most contributions to my campaign will be from family, friends, and acquaintances and others who believe in what I stand for. I want to represent you, not special interests!"

Image of Tony Michetti

Tony Michetti


A lifelong resident of Jordan Township and graduate of Line Mountain High School, Michetti recently received his law degree from Widener University. He completed an internship at the Chester County District Attorney's office and was a member of the Health Law Society. Before that, he graduated with a nursing degree from the Bon Secours School of Nursing where he was president of the Virginia Nursing Students Association.

He is also a charter member of the Nursing Research & Quality Assurance Magnet Council and a member of the Ethics Committee at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.

"I intend to do my best to restore the integrity and ethics in Harrisburg that the people of this district deserve. With the recent pay raise controversy, among other things, we need legislators that will serve Pennsylvania and not themselves. My leadership experience and background will be a great asset to the 108th district," Michetti said.

Antonio Michetti currently resides in Jordan Township with his wife Jane and two-week old daughter Clara. He is an active member of St. Michaels Lutheran Church in Klingerstown, Herndon Masonic Lodge #702 and Klingerstown Fire Company.

David Slavick


I was born and raised in Columbia County and appreciate the special way of life we have preserved here. My roots in our County are strong both my Mother and Father are life-long Columbia County natives. My commitment to Columbia County comes from the values my family has instilled in me. I am running for State Representative to honor my family tradition by giving back to the County they worked so hard to serve.

My Mother, Sandra Brewington Slavick, was raised in Stillwater and is the Daughter of Robert M. Brewington and Sally Brewington. She is one of eight children in the Brewington family. Her siblings are Robert, Sharon, Sally, Richard, Sheila, Suzanne and Stephanie. My Grandmother Brewington has been blessed with 21 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Despite all of our busy schedules we still manage to bring the entire family together in Benton for Easter and Thanksgiving.

My Father, Richard Joseph Slavick, was raised in Berwick and is the Son of Dmitri "Nick" Slavick and Mary Slavick. He has one brother Jerry Slavick, who resides in Philadelphia and has five children and three grandchildren.

My Brother, Joseph Marion Slavick, is an incoming sophomore at Immaculata University in Suburban Philadelphia. Joseph is a biology major and works as a residence assistant to earn extra money while he goes to school. In addition to his rigorous academic schedule he plays varsity basketball for Immaculata. In their first year of existence the "Mighty Macs" have proven themselves to be a team to be reckoned with despite the fact they only have two upperclassmen on the team.

During Elementary School I attended St. Columba Elementary in Bloomsburg before moving to Berwick and attending the Holy Family School. I attended Berwick Area High School where I actively participated in athletics and other extracurricular activities. My experience at these schools instilled in me the values of hard work and community.

My experience includes extensive work in economic development and legal reform. In my work I had the opportunity to see first hand that promoting prosperity and openness in government are vital to creating a bright and hopeful future. I understand that well-planned economic development can help all of us enjoy a more prosperous and secure future. I understand that building a better future for our area will take hard work and will require the people of our region to work as a team. I feel that with my strong leadership in Harrisburg and with your valuable input we can work together to build a future in which we will all prosper.

Tim Seip


Seip's bid for the 125th District seat is his first for an elected office.

He's spent about 14 years in the social services field, working for the county's Mental Health/Mental Retardation office, the Cloud Home — a group home for boys — as well as served as a Child and Adolescent Service Program coordinator and worked with juvenile justice in the county. Additionally, he has worked with several social services providers in the county.

He is currently employed at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in the senior behavioral health unit.

Seip has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration from Mansfield University and a master's degree in social work from Marywood University, Scranton.

"For most people, health care is like a Bermuda Triangle, between insurers, attorneys and health companies," he said. "It seems something more concrete needs to be put in place when people can't follow through with a doctor's recommendation."

He says the message of his campaign will be change.

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