Rick Daugherty, who is opposing Charlie Dent in the upcoming election as the Democratic contender on the ballot for the 15th Congressional District seat, was part of a forum Tuesday sponsored by the Concered East Penn Taxpayers Association (CEPTA) at Emmaus Fire Company #1.
Daugherty, chairman of the Lehigh County Democratic Party, first told the group of about 20 concerned citizens that he is happy with his job as director of the Lehigh County Senior Center.
"I want to make sure the people know where I stand. I welcome a victory or a loss either way. I like my job, and I don’t think that [Congress] will be more fun," he said.
He prefers that the race be a positive one, but was very clear that he differs from Dent on three issues. Daugherty pledges to:
* Protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security.
* Stop unfair trade policies and bring jobs back to this country and to the Lehigh Valley and
* Support the rights of workers to organize.
Daugherty said several times that he loves his job as director of the Lehigh County Senior Center, and that he is familiar with the inner workings of Harrisburg because he worked for Paul McHale, the last Democrat to hold this seat.
In other words, he will be happy with the outcome of this election no matter what it is.
He believes that sending jobs to other countries is a huge problem because it causes revenue to take a "nose dive."
"If people are not working, they're not paying taxes. This is our biggest threat, and if it's not turned around it's going to get worse very fast," Daugherty said.
He also said that if elected he would not accept the pension the government offers, and he will pay for his own healthcare.
The redrawn 15th Congressional District includes all of Lehigh County and parts of Northampton County including most of the city of Bethlehem, Hellertown, Lower Saucon Township and Lower Nazareth Township. The district also extends as far west as the Susquehanna River to include parts of Berks, Lebanon and Dauphin counties.