Gettysburg Connection Covers Local Elections

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District 91 debate features school choice, women’s rights and “free and fair elections

Nearly 100 men and women gathered Wednesday evening in Gettysburg College’s Mara Hall to hear three candidates vying for the District 91 seat in the state House of Representatives. The event was sponsored by the Gettysburg Connection and Gettysburg College.

Moderated by Gettysburg Connection editor Alex Hayes, the debate panel featured first-time candidate Neil Belliveau, Libertarian, of Conewago Township; incumbent Dan Moul, Republican, of Conewago Township, and Adams County Commissioner Marty Qually, Democrat, of Gettysburg. The format comprised questions submitted by audience members, although the submitters’ names were not announced.

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View the entire debate here, thanks to Community Media of South Central PA.

In his opening remarks Belliveau called the Pennsylvania legislature one of the least productive in the nation. Instead of limiting the size of the state budget, he said the assembly had in July increased the state budget “by over 10 percent” and suggested elections should be held April 16, the day after voters paid their taxes.

Qually opened by touting his lifelong residency in the Gettysburg area and saying “A good day in Harrisburg is frustrating.”

He immediately attacked Moul’s recent legislative record, saying the 16-year politician supported an amendment to the state constitution “to deny the most basic right of women – the right to control their own bodies” by denying women a right to an abortion.

Qually also listed Moul’s support of an amendment to change the voting age in Pennsylvania from the current 18 to a proposed 21 years of age. And he said Moul has “sponsored a resolution to declare the 2020 election invalid … against the will of the people.”

In his opening statement Moul’s criticized two recent Letters to the Editor writers appearing in the Gettysburg Times, one of whom he said had thrown him “under the bus” with criticism of his job performance after several years of apparent mutual respect.

The other letter writer, Moul said, had cast similar aspersions, calling Moul “a dependable MAGA vote.”

“When did Make America Great become a bad thing?” Moul queried.

When moderator Hayes stopped him saying his allotted two minutes had expired, Moul replied, “Thank you for not letting me finish.”

Hayes’ first question asked about raising vehicle related taxes in the face of better gas mileage and the growing proliferation of electric vehicles. These factors have resulted in less less gas-tax revenue to pay for road and highway upkeep.

Both Moul and Qually supported some form of fee or tax increase that would help remedy the situation. Moul noted the state House sent a bill “about two years ago” that proposed increasing registration fees on hybrid and electric vehicles, but the bill stalled in the Senate.

Belliveau responded by noting “over 40 percent” of the collected state gas tax is “siphoned off into the state police and other agencies.” If the money were allotted to the state’s road and bridges, he said, “you wouldn’t have as many problems as you have now.”

Qually supported using state education money to pay for public schools. Moul supported school choice, saying it was unfair to tell a parent with low income their child must remain in what he called a “failing” public school.

View the entire debate here, thanks to Community Media of South Central PA.

When asked about the state’s response to the Covid epidemic, Qually noted “we were not ready for” a problem of that magnitude. He called for “personal responsibility” and decried the level of public mistrust of medically-based guidance, and failure on the part of the public in believing and following the advice of medical professionals.

The response was “handled about as bad as it could be,” Moul told the audience. He blamed Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf for shutting down businesses and sending elderly patients to nursing homes. He said as a result of closing schools “kids fell way behind,” an outcome he suggested might never be corrected.

Asked about whether the 2020 election was legitimate, Qually said “Yes.” Moul said “there is no way to prove” the election was illegally decided”. In a reference to ballot drop boxes, he claimed there was “government footage from cameras that were mounted on government buildings of people … at three-four o’clock in the morning with handfuls of ballots and dumping them in.”

“We are never going to know (which candidate won the election),” he said

Belliveau called for third-party candidates to be included in the campaign and election process. “What isn’t fair is Republican and Democrats keep third-party candidates … off the ballot,” he said.

“Third party candidates “are treated like third rate-citizens,” he said.

Many voters already have received the mail-in ballots they requested and many have already voted. In-person voting is Nov. 8, 2022. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 24, with Nov. 1 the last day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot.

Mail-in or absentee ballots must be received by the county Elections Office by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Featured image caption: The three candidates vying for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 91 seat in the upcoming election met for a debate Wednesday night at Gettysburg College. Pictured are, from left, Adams County Commissioner Marty Qually, Democrat, of Gettysburg; Neil Belliveau, Libertarian, of Conewago Township; and incumbent Dan Moul, Republican, of Conewago Township. [John Messeder]

John Messeder is a freelance reporter and photographer who resides in Cumberland Township. He may be contacted at

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Len Barrett
Len Barrett
1 year ago

As a new resident to the area, this debate was very enlightening. I especially enjoyed Dan Moul’s opening and closing statements, clearly showing what he stands for. A must see for everyone who intends to vote.

Ted Bortner
Ted Bortner
1 year ago

On the topic of abortion and a proposed Constitutional amendment Rep Moul states, “if you get yourself pregnant and decide to end that pregnancy the taxpayers are not on the hook”. Get yourself pregnant?

Kristin Rice
Kristin Rice
1 year ago
Reply to  Ted Bortner

I think certain algae and fungi can do it and I’ve heard it about the ginkgo tree, but of course no one’s looking to regulate them.

Beth Farnham
Beth Farnham
1 year ago

I wonder which school Moul would consider “failing” in his own district, if he knows so much about schools to judge them that way.

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