The U.S. Senate is the upper chamber of the Congress. In concert with the House of Representatives, the Senate enacts laws, which the president may sign or veto. Senators also approve presidential appointments (including Supreme Court nominees). Each state has two senators, who are elected for six-year terms in even-numbered years (approximately one third of the Senate’s seats are up for election at a time). There are no term limits and the salary is $174,000.
Robert P Casey, Jr. (D) - WINNER
Bob Casey, who’s running for his third term in the U.S. Senate, has held elective office continuously since 1997. The son of former PA Gov. Bob Casey Sr., Casey was elected PA Auditor General (1996, 2000), PA Treasurer (2004) and before winning his Senate seat in 2006, lost a 2002 gubernatorial bid. Born in Scranton in 1960, Casey graduated from Holy Cross College (1982) and the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law (1988), and practiced law in Scranton from 1991 to ‘96. He and his wife, Terese, live in Scranton. They have four daughters.
Lou Barletta - WINNER
Hazelton native Lou Barletta focused on immigration issues while serving as the Luzerne County city’s mayor from 1999 to 2010. Currently, Barletta represents PA’s 11th District in the U.S. House of Representatives---a seat he won in 2010 after failed bids in 2002 and ’08. Born in 1956, Barletta attended Bloomsburg State College (now Bloomsburg University) but dropped out to pursue a baseball career. More successful was the pavement-marking business he and his wife, Mary Grace, founded in 1984. It was the largest in PA when they sold it in 2000. The Barlettas have four grown daughters and eight grandchildren.
Beaver native Jim Christiana has represented his hometown in the PA House of Representatives (15th District) since 2009---taking office less than three years after graduating from Washington & Jefferson College (his degree is in political science). Three years earlier he became the youngest person ever elected to the Beaver Borough Council, where he rose to the post of Finance Committee chair. Christiana and his wife, Jayann, live in Beaver with their young son.