Matt Cartwright, running to represent the new 17th district, meets with Easton NAACP.
Cartwright, a Democrat who’s running against U. S. Rep. Tim Holden in the April 24 primary to represent the newly created 17th district, spoke briefly before the NAACP as members met atTrinity Episcopal Church.
Holden, also a Democrat, was invited to the meeting, but was unable to get away from Washington.
“We have to compete with the Chinese in this country,” said Cartwright, who recently opened a campaign office on Ferry Street. “We’re not talking about 2012, we’re talking about 2050. Roads, bridges, rail, high speed rail…they’re building it, why aren’t we?”
Cartwright, an attorney from the borough of Moosic in Lackawanna County, said he had orginally planned to run against U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, whose name caused some angry grumbles among NAACP members.
Before he was in Congress, Barletta was the mayor of the city of Hazleton. During his tenure, he pledged to make Hazleton “one of the toughest places in the United States” for illegal immigrants. To do that, he and the city council passed a law fining landlords who rented to illegal immigrants, and pulling the business license of anyone who hired them.
“Maybe it wasn’t overtly racist, but it appealed to people who were,” Cartwright said of Barletta’s policies.
Then redistricting happened, and Cartwright — who was elected a delegate for Bill Clinton in 1992 — decided to run against Holden.
Cartwright says he has nothing against Holden, just his voting record, especially his support of things like extending the Bush tax cuts, and the balanced budget amendment.
On the latter, Holden told the Morning Call it was necessary to do so to “get our fiscal house in order.”
In addition to infrastructure, Cartwright also said we need to be spending more on education.
“It’s not going to kill the wealthiest Americans to pay 3 percent more in taxes,” he said.