By Tom Barnes
HARRISBURG -- If you’re running for political office in Pennsylvania, it’s a good idea to appeal to senior citizens, because there are a lot of them and a lot of them vote.
But if you can’t address senior citizens directly, then do the next best thing -- talk to the Pennsylvania Council on Aging. It’s a state agency that oversees 52 county-based Area Agencies on Aging around the state.
That’s what Dan Onorato, the Democratic candidate for governor, did here today. Aging Council Director William White said Republican candidate Tom Corbett was invited also, but couldn’t make it.
"My opponent doesn’t want to be on stage much any more. I don’t know why,’’ Mr. Onorato told the group. He has been pressing Mr. Corbett, who is leading in the polls, for more debates.
Mr. Onorato went through his usual stump speech, talking about how he reduced the number of row offices in Allegheny County, consolidated 911 centers and held the line on property taxes for seven years.
"The biggest difference between me and my opponent is our resumes,’’ Mr. Onorato said. "He is a prosecutor and I have been running the second largest county in the state for the last seven years. I’ve actually governed.’’
He also said he’s had a lot of experience dealing with issues affecting senior citizens, since Allegheny County has the second highest number of elderly, after Miami-Dade County, Florida.
If elected, he vowed to reduce the cost of the General Assembly by 20 percent.