Meet the Candidates: Bill McSwain for Governor
HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - By now, there’s a good chance you’ve seen one of the several campaign commercials in Pennsylvania, as candidates try to reach voters before the May 17 spring primary.
One of those candidates is Bill McSwain. McSwain, a Republican, is running to be Pennsylvania’s next Governor and recently spoke with ErieNewsNow about his vision for the commonwealth.
McSwain says there's one thing he brings to the table that other GOP candidates do not.
“I'm the only person who's running for governor that has any law enforcement experience,” said McSwain. “I’m the only prosecutor, and public safety is something that I care deeply about,” he added.
The Chester County native served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps before ultimately becoming a federal prosecutor and then U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“I was fortunate enough to be appointed by the President, by President Trump, to lead that office,” said McSwain.
He adds that public safety has always been a top priority throughout his career.
"People have the right to live in a safe neighborhood,” said McSwain. “If they don't have that right, their other rights really don't mean anything,” he added.
Aside from public safety, education choice is another top priority of his. McSwain says more choices create more competition.
“I believe strongly in school choice,” said McSwain. “The key is competition. And with competition comes accountability,” McSwain added. “Of course we need to fund education, but fundamentally in Pennsylvania, we don't have a funding problem, we have a system problem.”
One of the first things he'd do if elected, is hold a special session with the Legislature to pass transformative school-choice legislation.
“So that we can have more charter schools and more choices for families,” said McSwain. “Families should have the option of staying in the public school, or going to a charter school, or going to a parochial school, or going to a private school.”
Another day-one priority: cutting the state's $0.58 gas tax.
“That needs to happen right away,” said McSwain. “We have the third-highest gas tax in the nation right now. It's way too high,” he added.
He says using Pennsylvania's resources is key to reduce rising fuel prices and energy costs.
“We are sitting on a goldmine in Pennsylvania and we need to take advantage of it,” said McSwain.
“Pennsylvanians are ready for change, we need a Republican governor in order to unleash our economy. We need a Republican governor in order for us to have public safety,” McSwain added.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, McSwain is one of ten GOP gubernatorial candidates facing off in the May 17 primary.