Upset at the way things are going, former state Rep. Timothy S. Mahoney is running to reclaim the 51st Legislative District seat he held from 2006-2016. A plain-speaking but principled office holder, Mahoney said he can’t sit idly by while his successor favors “doing crazy things like giving away $2 billion set aside to complete the Mon-Fayette Expressway.”
“For the past year, the guy who came after me has been, for all intents and purposes, ‘The Invisible Man’ when it comes to new ideas and displaying leadership,” Mahoney said. “At the behest of many supporters and friends in Fayette and Somerset counties who want real representation, I have decided to climb back into the political ring for a rematch. I’m ready. Trust me on that.”
Mahoney, of South Union Township, said he plans to gain back the seat with the backing of the Fayette County Democratic Party that was splintered in 2016, but is now more unified.
He also said national campaign forces that were a factor in state and local races two years ago won’t create the same political backdraft that aided his opponent.
“The number of people urging me to run again is nothing short of astonishing,” Mahoney said. “Everywhere I go, I started asking people, ‘Are things better, worse or the same?’ The overwhelming response was, ‘Tim, things are worse than they’ve ever been!’ I want to change that, and quick.”
As a state legislator, Mahoney said he wasn’t afraid to put forth bold ideas and take tough stands, even if it meant breaking with his party’s leadership or governor.
He was the author of the House version of an updated state Open Records Law that many of his peers didn’t initially want, and he steadfastly refused to raise taxes under Republican and Democratic governors. Mahoney was also a strong advocate for maintaining and expanding the number of state police, and used the Open Records Law to obtain information that documented a shortfall in the number of troopers at the Uniontown Barracks.
Another signature issue for Mahoney was early warnings about the heroin and opioid crisis. Under a Republican administration, he made a key ally, of the director of the state office of Drug and Alcohol Programs, held the first Town Hall meeting in the state on the topic and urged more state funding for addiction treatment way before it became politically fashionable.
“People know I’m not afraid to speak out when something needs said, or to do something when something needs done,” Mahoney said. “I drive a pickup truck, attend my kids’ and grandkids’ ball games, and root for the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates.
“When I’m your representative, you get someone who’s one of you. Not someone who’s one of them.”
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