The following candidates have been endorsed by The Tribune-Democrat’s editorial board. The endorsement editorials appeared in our Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday editions and can be read on our website at www.tribdem.com:
* Mitt Romney: President
* Mark Critz: U.S. House 12th district
* Bill Shuster: U.S. House 9th district
* John Wozniak: State Senate 35th district
* Bryan Barbin: State House 71st district
* Gary Haluska: State House 73rd district
Many of our Readers’ Forum writers have been calling this perhaps the most important presidential election of our times.
While we wish voters would consider every election essential, we would agree a lot is at stake in this year’s presidential contest.
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have very different ideas on where our nation should be heading – from health care, defense spending, Social Security and Medicare, abortion and gay marriage to immigration and how active the government should be on behalf of its citizens.
Obama wants strong government oversight while Romney believes it should get out of the way.
They also differ on oil drilling and coal’s play in our energy future.
Improving education is perhaps one of the few important issues on which they seem to agree.
Voters in our region will be making choices in two congressional races: Johnstown’s Mark Critz versus Keith Rothfus of Allegheny County, in the 12th district, and Hollidaysburg’s Bill Shuster versus Karen Ramsburg of Mercersburg, Franklin County, in the 9th district.
On the national scene, too, they will pick a U.S. senator. Incumbent Bob Casey Jr. is squaring off against Tom Smith.
Also to be decided are three statewide races: Attorney general: David Freed against Kathleen Kane; treasurer: Diana Irey Vaughan or Robert McCord; and auditor general: John Maher versus Eugene DePasquale.
Locally, voters will have to decide in the 35th Senatorial District: John Wozniak against Tim Houser; state House 71st district: Bryan Barbin and Sherry Stalley; and state House 73rd district: Gary Haluska versus Randall Wilson.
Obviously, there are a lot of important decisions to make and many good candidates worthy of your support. We hope you have been reading, listening, watching and doing your homework.
We urge you to go to the polls on Tuesday. Any percentage under 70 would be an embarrassing reflection on Cambria and Somerset counties, whose voters in November 2008 turned out at rates of 68.2 and 67 percent, respectively.