The municipal election victories of a Realtor® and other Realtor®-friendly candidates are examples of how independent expenditure campaigns can help support the real estate industry.
In the race for Stroudsburg School Board in Monroe County, the Realtor®-backed ticket of Bruce Stewart, Richard Pierce, Brad Strasser and Cindy Blake took the four spots up for grabs on the board. Stewart had 2,487 votes, Pierce 2,523, Strasser 2,434 and Blake 2,404.
“The candidates are strong fiscal conservatives who have demonstrated a commitment to private property and homeownership rights,” said Taylor Munoz, government affairs director of the Pocono Mountains Association of Realtors® (PMAR).
In the primary election, PMAR directly supported the four candidates with local Realtors® Political Action Committee (RPAC) funds, providing two direct mail pieces, one advocacy call, and a live call in support of their candidacy.
Realtor® John Stultz carried the mayoral race in Hollidaysburg, Blair County in a total landslide, with unofficial results at 809 votes. In the primary, Stultz ousted two-term Mayor Joseph Dodson, by a margin of two votes, 446-444. Stultz has served on borough council for more than 24 years.
“As a small association with no local political action committee, we were thrilled to discover the independent expenditure program and be able to support John in his bid for mayor,” said Holly O’Connor, president of the Allegheny Highland Association of Realtors®.
In Mt Penn Borough, Berks County, Kurt Miller won election to the borough council with the highest number of votes among eight candidates. Miller pulled in 242 votes, and led all opponents as a Republican in a Democratic borough. He will be the only Republican on the council.
“Kurt has a solid knowledge of Realtor® issues and has a good understanding of the problems facing Mt. Penn Borough. He will make an excellent ally on the council,” notes Chuck Liedike, government affairs director for the Reading-Berks Association of Realtors®.
The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® (PAR) Independent Expenditures Committee determined which candidates should receive support, based on recommendations from the local associations. The association took advantage of NAR’s new State and Local Independent Expenditure Program and applied for support for each candidate.
Federal regulations dictate how independent expenditures may be conducted and a candidate’s campaign cannot be contacted about initiatives funded through an independent expenditure. Each campaign was conducted by the Alliance for a Better Pennsylvania, a political action committee affiliated with PAR.