There are now four days until Election Day. And Democrat Maureen Madden is once again being challenged for the 115th Legislative District seat. Republican Dulce Ridder would also like to represent the six municipalities in Monroe County.
Incumbent, Democrat Maureen Madden is in her second term as the Pennsylvania House Representative for the 115th District. And she wants to continue serving her constituents. She originally ran because there were things in her community that needed to be changed and those in office weren’t getting it done.
Madden says, "That’s why my slogan “Your Voice in Harrisburg“ is important to me because when I go to Harrisburg and I vote on bills, I decide what is the best legislation for the Commonwealth or for us in the Poconos, I take into consideration all of the voices that I’ve listened to."
She tells us her constituents voices are screaming very loudly for equitable school funding and property tax reform. But the pandemic has taken center stage.
Madden says, "It’s a public health crisis and our focus is on keeping people alive, keeping them safe and I’ve called on Harrisburg to send that billion dollars from Harrisburg on to the people, small business owners for grants, for schools, for people’s who’s jobs will never come back to help people with their rent and their mortgages."
As a resident of the Poconos for about 15 years and a former East Stroudsburg University educator, Madden understands the importance of securing state money for her community.
Madden says, "Look at the Mountain Center, which for all intensive purposes was a blighted property before Pocono Services for Families and Children bought it. We’ve put over three million dollars into that building and much of that I was able to bring home."
The challenger Republican Dulce Ridder wants to help her community move forward as the pandemic continues and doesn’t feel its needs are currently being heard.
Ridder says, "I feel we are muted, we are not being listened to, for example the veto to override the Governor’s veto on House Bill 2513 was voted against by my opponent. This bill would’ve helped tremendously our local restaurants."
The local real estate agent knows firsthand how important property tax reform is because she sees how hard it is to attract businesses to the area with high taxes. But her first focus is also on the pandemic.
Ridder says, "One of the issues is our mental health, nobody’s thinking about that. The mental health tsunami that we’re going to have after this Covid is going to be massive and we need to be ready for it."
Ridder has lived in Monroe County for about 19 years and the mother of five isn’t afraid of reaching across the aisle to get things done.
Ridder says, "If they want a change, if they want somebody who’s going to represent them and work for them, somebody who recognizes that the people are the boss, not the governor, I think that would be the reason to send me. I’m also very good with negotiating."