Voters in the 19th District of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will have three candidates to choose from in next Tuesday’s Democratic primary election.
Incumbent Representative Jake Wheatley is being challenged by former Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Tonya Payne and current Pittsburgh Public School Board Representative Mark Brentley.
Wheatley says he has experience tackling issues at the state level.
“The budget, the transportation, the pension.... All these things are going to require us to have a focused and creative and very honest conversation with our citizenry,” says Wheatley.
Wheatley says he plans to continue his work in education and job creation.
Payne won the Democratic Committee’s endorsement. She says that early childhood education is critical. Payne also says the state legislature should be smaller.
“I think that they waste and misuse and abuse too much of our money,” says Payne.
Brentley says the feud between Wheatley and Payne has continued too long.
“Most of the voters in the district are ready to put that era behind them,” says Brentley.
Brentley says people who depend on government assistance have tough years ahead, so he’d like to focus on job creation and entrepreneurship.
The district comprises much of the North Side, the South Side, Downtown, the Hill District, and Oakland. The district also includes all or part of Arlington and Arlington Heights, Hazelwood, Knoxville, Manchester, Allegheny Center, Allentown, Beltzhoover, and Central Northside.