It's a tough call in the new 169th House District.

We don't agree with any of the four Republican candidates on every issue. And we strongly disagree with all of them on at least one point or another.

Yet one of them almost certainly will represent the district, since there is no Democrat on the ballot.

Kate Klunk has a combination we think would be the best fit for the constituents — intelligence, experience, shared values and an ability to see the big picture.

She's only in her early 30s, but her resume would make any Republican envious.

Klunk parlayed an internship with former Congressman Todd Platts into a two-year stint in the George W. Bush White House. There, she worked in the Office of Communications on domestic and economic policies.

She later earned a law degree and now has a private practice, focusing on small business employment issues.

A native of Hanover, Klunk says she learned early the hard-work ethic common to the area, and for a time she stood on the assembly line at nearby Utz Quality Foods.

Her priorities include restoring fiscal discipline to state government, revitalizing Pennsylvania's business climate, countering the erosion of personal rights and freedoms, and property tax relief.

While Klunk "fundamentally" supports House Bill 76 — which would replace property taxes with an expanded and higher sales tax — she also understands it would not adequately fund education in Pennsylvania.


Property taxes are only part of a bigger problem, she says, and any solution also must address the unfair school funding formula, skyrocketing pensions, the prevailing wage requirement for schools and unfunded mandates.

A workable HB 76, Klunk says, would ensure school districts are properly funded and not hurt local businesses by driving consumers to neighboring states for goods and services.

Unfortunately, Klunk does not support a severance tax on natural gas drillers in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region, fearing it could slow job growth and cause companies to drill in other states.

It's the same old argument, and it's still wrong.

Drilling companies expect to pay a severance tax, and they wouldn't leave Pennsylvania if we collected one. Every other natural gas-producing state already has one — and we are sitting on one of the largest reserves in the world.

Leaving that money on the table is unreasonable, especially when the state continues to ask more and more of hard-working Pennsylvanians.

Vote for Klunk — and ask her to support a severance tax.