Democrat throws hat into ring for Ninth Congressional District seat

With no money or organization and facing a 2-1 Republican majority, Paul Politis has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s Ninth Congressional District.
Politis, who lived in McConnellsburg, Fulton County, 23 years before moving to Greencastle, Franklin County, two-and-half-years ago, is a semi-retired small businessman, and former journalist and 16-year school board member.
Politis ran an unsuccessful campaign for the seat in 1998 when he was defeated by long-time incumbent Bud Shuster. He said that campaign was “short circuited by $300,000 worth of Shuster-machine lawyers, etc., sparked by one ill-advised comment to a Bedford reporter which she misinterpreted.”
“But that’s water over the dam,” he said.
When asked what he can bring different to Washington, Politis responded: “Essentially, everything.”
He said both incumbent Congressman Bud Shuster and Republican candidate Michael DelGrosso toe the “immoral, anti-people Bush-Cheney line” that he says brought record deficits, job losses, death and destruction in a war based on lies, tax cuts geared to the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans, etc.
“I believe we can do better,” Politis told The Daily Herald. “The (now risen to) $536 billion medicare “modernization” that uses half the expenditure to benefit drug companies and HMOs could have been configured instead to provide healthcare for the 43 million Americans that have none.”
He said drug treatment and prevention would be much cheaper, not to mention nicer, for the nation that has a larger percentage of its population in prison than any other industrialized nation.
“So that’s why I’m running; to give people a positive choice,” he said. “We need a change of heart and soul in the White House and in Congress if we’re to turn our country from the worst administration in U.S. history back toward the principles that made us great.”
A native of Wilkes-Barre, Politis has lived in the Ninth District, which includes all or part of 15 counties, nearly all his adult life. A 1970 Shippensburg State College graduate, he taught school briefly, but through most of the 1970s, was a reporter-photographer for the Chambersburg daily newspaper. He also was a journalist in Pottsville and with the Bedford County Press, was editor of the Mercersburg Journal and former Fulton Democrat weeklies, and still writes occasional columns in area publications. He also served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves.
In 1983, Politis took his part-time automotive book and memorabilia business full-time, building a worldwide mailorder and mobile operation and in 1989, added a large, walk-in shop and museum. In 1997, he returned the business to part-time to allow for other pursuits.
In Fulton County, Politis was a member of Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and the county Tourist Promotion Agency and is a former president of both groups. He chaired the Fulton Fall Festival Antique Car Show many years, was active in Knobsville UM Church and served 16 years on Forbes Road School Board and on the county vo-tech school committee.
In Greencastle, he is vice-chairman of Franklin County Democratic Committee and is active in First UM Church of Greencastle.
He and his wife, JoMarie, an elementary reading teacher, are the parents of three adult daughters.
“As a community and nation, we need to look at the big picture,” Politis concluded. “At the long-term effects of our actions – on environment, economy, foreign policy, and on human needs such as health and education…on the next generation rather than just the election.
“I’m old enough to know I’m not going to change the world, but with today’s Republican party catering to the narrow agendas of right wing extremists and tax-evading multi-national corporations, this is the most important election in U.S. history,” he said. “We must begin to restore our nation to the positive principles that were once part of the ideals of both major parties.
“If we can get people’s attention, with hard work, I think we can wage a respectable, winnable campaign on a shoestring budget.”