Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Joyce & Ottaway

The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Locally, Greencastle-Antrim voters will choose a new member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a new state senator.

Democrat Brent Ottaway and Republican John Joyce are vying for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, who did not seek re-election. The Congressional District was changed from the Ninth to the 13th by redistricting, but there is no change for local voters, according to the Franklin County Commissioners Office. The two were sent a questionnaire and their answers appear below.

Democrat Emily Best and Republican Judy Ward are running for the 30th District Pennsylvania Senate seat of John Eichelberger Jr., who did not seek re-election. Their questionnaires ran in the Echo Pilot on Tuesday.

State Rep. Paul Schemel, a Republication whose 90th Legislative District includes Greencastle and Antrim Township, is unopposed in his re-election bid.

Statewide, Pennsylvania voters will select a new governor and lieutenant governor from the field of: Tom Wolf and John Fetterman, Democratic; Scott R. Wagner and Jeff Bartos, Republican; Paul Glover and Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick, Green; and Ken V. Krawchuk and Kathleen S. Smith, Libertarian.

Also on the ballot are candidates for the U.S. Senate: Bob Casey Jr., Democratic; Lou Barletta, Republican; Neal Gale, Green; and Dale R. Kerns Jr., Libertarian.

Dr. John Joyce


Residence: Blair County

Profession: Medical Doctor

Education: Penn State University, Bachelor Science, 1979; Temple University School of Medicine, 1983; Johns Hopkins, Internal Medicine, 1986; Johns Hopkins, Dermatology 1989.

Community involvement: United Way Board; St Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen; Penn State Altoona Advisory Board.

1. What inspired you to seek this office?

My inspiration to run for the new congressional seat Pennsylvania - 13 was to work to solve the healthcare crisis that now faces America. From the first day of my campaign, I have sought to be the commonsense solution to healthcare issues in the United States. As a practicing physician, I see and hear on a daily basis the staggering price of health insurance, prescriptions, medical treatment that people face every day. The career politicians have not solved this problem. As a doctor, I realize that a fair market plan can be developed that will allow individuals to choose the insurance that they want, and not pay for unnecessary additions that are irrelevant to their medical care. An individual must be able to choose a doctor in the hospital where health care is best administered to their individual needs I have heard this from my patients, I’ve heard this from the constituents and voters in Pennsylvania 13 and I will make this my number one agenda if elected to office.

2. What do you believe are the top three issues relevant to Franklin County?

I believe that there are a number of issues that are important to the residents of Franklin County, as well as residents across the new PA 13th Congressional District. Among those issues, addressing the opioid crisis, strategic workforce development and fixing the nation's healthcare are priorities.

The need for a fair market healthcare plan that provides options for individuals and families, was a primary motivation in my campaign. As a doctor, I’ve seen the impact of the Affordable Care Act firsthand and for many of the people I’ve talked to, it’s not affordable for many and has made a mess of our healthcare system. I want to utilize my private sector experience as a doctor, and help find a sensible solution to our nation’s healthcare problems.

The opioid crisis is something that has touched nearly every one of our lives. Most of us know someone who has suffered from addiction and we need to take a hard look at how we are prescribing opioids to patients, what treatment options are available to those suffering from addiction, and how to address the criminal element that is making it possible to purchase these drugs on our streets.

Workforce development is also a priority for me. It's very important that we encourage training programs that are tailored specifically to the jobs we need to fill in our community. With Franklin County's unemployment rate at under 4 percent, finding workers to fill available positions can be difficult for employers. It's important that we are cultivating the next generation's workforce and providing them training opportunities that meet the needs of the local economy.

These are just a few issues I hope to address. Fixing our broken immigration system, making the Trump tax cuts permanent, and ensuring we are properly funding our military are also top among my list. 

3. Why should someone vote for you?

Through my training as a doctor, I have been taught to listen and problem solve for people. With the skill set I look to work for seniors, veterans, business owners and the blue-collar workers. My pro-life, pro- Second Amendment and conservative ideals best represent the hard-working people of Franklin County.

My work as a civilian doctor with the United States Navy during Desert Storm has allowed me to develop an even greater respect for those men and women who protect our freedom every day. If elected to Congress, I had made a commitment to maintain a district office in Franklin County and be here as often as a possible. My pledge to you is to work for you and with you.

Brent Ottaway


Residence: Blair County

Profession: Associate Professor of Communications, St. Francis University

Education: Grove City College, bachelor's degree; West Virginia University, master's in journalism.

Community involvement: Penn-Mont Academy Montessori School Board; Hollidaysburg Area School District Board; Hollidaysburg Area YMCA; Altoona Area chapter of Toastmasters International; Hollidaysburg Free Public Library Board of Directors.

1. What inspired you to seek this office?

I was frustrated by not having a choice. Often in the general election, there wouldn’t even be a Democrat listed. To my way of thinking, that’s just not the way its supposed to be in a democratic-republic. This race is about a lot of things. It's about permanent Congress and why is it that we continue to send incumbents back to Congress with such a low approval rating? It is a very challenging and frustrating situation to be the grassroots campaign up against the machine.

2. What do you believe are the key issues?

Infrastructure. Instead of providing enormous tax breaks to corporations so that they can buy up their own stock, Congress should invest in significant upgrades to America’s infrastructure. Doing so will create jobs twice over — first, people are needed to perform the upgrades and businesses have a better environment in which to locate and grow. By “infrastructure,” I mean more than roads, bridges and water systems. Especially in rural counties like those in Pennsylvania’s 13th, we need to do better. We must improve our aging power grid while making sure that broadband internet access is available to all. Fast Internet service enables entrepreneurs everywhere it reaches. We need to make sure it reaches everywhere.

Healthcare. Healthcare is perhaps the area in which Congress has most clearly failed to act in the interests of the people they’re supposed to represent. Washington has played partisan political games while Americans suffer. Too much time and money are wasted, and too much sleep is lost, because of a mind-numbingly illogical system. Too many career decisions are dictated by the need for healthcare. Too many Americans have seen a lifetime of hard work and savings wiped out by one illness or injury. There is a better way. I will devote my time in Congress to working toward a bipartisan solution. It can be done, if we work together and keep our minds open to new ideas. Above all, we have to put the best interests of all Americans over our personal political ideologies.

Education/Jobs. As a long-time college educator with both public and private school board experience and as the father of five children, I have an uncommonly robust educational background for a legislator. Here are some fundamental thoughts on our vitally important, too-often-unappreciated educational system.

With its exaggerated emphasis on high-stakes testing, “No Child Left Behind” has hindered all of K-12 public education by draining funds — and fun — from our schools. It’s hard to nurture the joy of learning when you’re always teaching to the test.

Much needs to be done to return U.S. education to the top and to prepare workers and entrepreneurs of the future. We must make education options beyond high school more varied and affordable. In this fast-changing world, people will typically have not just multiple jobs, but multiple careers. Critical thinking skills must be developed at all levels, and job retraining programs must become more robust.

3. Why should someone vote for you?

People are fed up with the dysfunctional mess that Congress has become. It’s time for leaders who can work through differing positions to make decisions for the good of our country.

Too many of our representatives define the ‘future’ as the time between now and the next election cycle. We need people with vision and the ability to move us toward it. That’s what I offer voters of this district.