A state representative race in Lehigh and Northampton counties is a repeat from two years ago. Republican incumbent Zach Mako is challenged by Democrat Jason Ruff to represent the 183rd district. That area includes Slatington, Walnutport, Lehigh Township and Washington Township.
Republican Zach Mako of Lehigh township is running for his third term. he's active duty in the National Guard as a helicopter pilot, and just came back from his second deployment to Afghanistan. Mako is proud of bills he's voted on last year including addressing the shortage of skilled laborers and environmental protections for residents from the DEP.
Mako said, "To inform local municipalities if there's any kind of violation or pollutant in the air, in the ground, or in the water s that they can get the word out to the residents that way they can best protect them."
Mako said one of his highest priorities is eliminating property tax for seniors.
"I don't think it's right or fair that somebody that's lived in their house for decades, paid it off, own it outright, and are going to lose it because they live on a fixed income and their property taxes keep going up."
Mako said he will work with democrats and republicans alike to make sure progress is always being made.
"We do get along more than people think," Mako said, "But I always think it's good to reach across the aisle. And when you do, and you have that dialogue and the communication that's when the people of Pennsylvania succeed."
Democrat Jason Ruff of Slatington has served on borough council for three years, and said he was able to create financial responsibility to keep taxes low.
"We saw a lot of spending getting a little bit out of control." Ruff said, "So we ran on a slate of fiscal responsibility. And as soon as we got on council we lowered some fees and we reset the checkbook."
Ruff said he will work on addressing the financial hardships created by the pandemic. He wants to work on getting the rest of the more than one billion dollars of federal aid money out to the businesses who need it most.
"There's 1.3 billion dollars sitting in our state funds right now that could be going to help Pennsylvanian citizens, Pennylvania small business owners." Ruff said, "There is absolutely no excuse for having that money be sitting in an account when people are struggling."
Whether it's been through borough council, or one of the other county task forces he's been on, he's always been able to work with people regardless of political party.
"We don't care about people's party affiliations. We just go, and we work professionally and productively with each other to get the work done." Ruff said, "And that's all I could hope people would entrust me to do in Harrisburg."
Election day is Tuesday, November 3rd.