David Heayn, a write-in candidate running for State House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 85th district, is hopeful to replace Republican incumbent Fred Keller, who is seeking his fourth term in office. Heayn was inspired to run against Keller when he saw that the incumbent was running unopposed. Desiring a change from what he considers to be Keller’s unproductive career, Heayn decided to run. Heayn spoke on campus on Oct. 26.
“Our democracy should not be a fiction,” Heayn said.
Heayn, a history professor at Susquehanna University, resides in Lewisburg with his wife who is an electrical engineering professor at the University and his eight-month-old son, to whom he also attributes the inspiration behind his candidacy.
Education is at the core of Heayn’s platform and something that he is passionate about reforming. Raised in Philadelphia, Heayn had experience teaching in both the inner city and wealthier areas, so he believes that he is well-versed on the disparities of education that exist in Pennsylvania. Heayn advocates for “simply providing the proper funding to our education system or the proper support for educators or a thousand other things that our state has promised to do, but doesn’t do.” If elected, Heayn plans to pursue investments in programs such as Head Start, Wik, job training through a community college, school nutrition, and pre-K education.
Heayn sees major disparities between himself and Keller that he believes should earn his candidacy to the state house. According to Heayn, these differences include his opponent’s opposition to labor unions, which Heayn touts as “a fundamental failsafe against the abuses of employers and the state,” as well as Keller’s “simplistic” views on women and familial rights such as sick leave and maternity leave. The incumbent’s conservative ideologies such as trickle-down economics contrast Heayn’s idea that these ideologies are the reasons why people are suffering in today’s society and that “the role of government is as a caretaker and facilitator.”
The cutthroat environment often associated with politics does not scare Heayn. He argues that the incumbent is “known as a nice guy” who is good “at shaking hands, showing up at events, Little League, all that stuff.” But dealing with lawyers, big business people, and lobbies is a job for someone who is more than just a nice guy, according to Heayn. He says the incumbent is a “good foot soldier” unwilling to fight or propose more than fluff.
“I am going to go in there and propose every piece of legislation I can,” Heayn said, advocating his determination to create significant change within the district.
Heayn does not value partisan politics; in fact, he is against the two major party politics of our nation. If elected, Heayn vows to listen and appeal to the concerns of all existing parties’ concerns and issues.
Heayn zealously advises all students to vote in the general election, no matter who they vote for. Additionally, students should bring either a state license or University identification card with them to vote, especially if it is their first time voting in the district.
“This election is too critical, not just for my race, but across the board to have millennials and young people not vote,” Heayn said.