DANVILLE, Pa. — Pennsylvania's Primary Election is less than two weeks away.
Typically independent and third-party voters cannot take part in a primary, but this year there is one race where they can.
There is a special election to choose the next representative in the 108th district.
Longtime Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver was elected to the State Senate earlier this year in another special election.
Three candidates hope to take her place in the state house.
For Montour County residents, at least one of those candidates is a familiar face.
Democrat Trevor Finn has been a Montour County Commissioner for nearly 20 years.
He's been a volunteer firefighter in Danville for just as long.
"They see the way Montour County has situated itself. They know that I have been able to work across the aisle and asked me to represent them in Harrisburg," Finn said.
The Republican candidate Mike Stender is also a firefighter.
He volunteers in Sunbury and works at a fire company in Harrisburg.
The Sunbury resident is on the Shikellamy School Board.
"Public service is just something that was bred into me at a young age. I've always tried to be active in my community, serve my community, help people who need help in their time of need," Stender said.
There is a Libertarian candidate on the ballot.
Elijah Scretching is a former Marine who lives in Northumberland.
He was an ammunition technician who spent time in Japan.
"I see a lot of corruption and a lot of power getting taken away from the people of Pennsylvania, so I want to step in and try to change that," he said.
Scretching says the issues most important to him are lowering crime, fighting inflation, and protecting veterans.
"We had a gentleman over at Weis, and he fell on the ground. My sister and I helped him up, and he was explaining that he wants to go to his doctor at the VA, but it's too far away, and he doesn't have good transportation, and there are not a lot of services or system around this area," he added.
As firefighters, both Stender and Finn say helping emergency responders would be one of their top priorities in Harrisburg, as well as the economy and budget.
"Making sure that we have real state budgets free of the one-time transfers. We need to make sure that we're properly funding our school districts, that we're not setting up school districts for more unfunded mandates," Stender said.
"I don't care what your religion, your sexual preference, your background, whatever it is. Everybody should be treated the same. I really want to protect our small-town values, like the volunteer fire department," Finn added.
The 108th District includes Montour County and parts of Northumberland County.
The special election is the same day as Pennsylvania's Primary Election.
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