Candidate Interview: Jim Miller Wants to Represent the 145th District in Harrisburg

Miller couldn't stand by while Republican Rep. Craig Staats continues to misrepresent the people of Bucks County.
Jim Miller

Jim Miller is a Veteran of the US Air Force, a proud husband and father, and a leader in the community. He served as Chairman of the Pennridge Regional Police Commission, Vice President of the Bucks County Association of Township Officials, and am a current board member of the Bucks County Planning Commission and the Bucks County Commissioner’s Subcommittee for Environment, Energy, and Sustainability. 

A commitment to service has underlined his career. That our current Representative Craig Staats would violate his oath and lie to constituents is unthinkable, and it meant that he had no choice but to step up. This is why he launched a write-in campaign to get on the ballot, and to take on the incumbent in the Fall. In the May Primary, he was successfully nominated with 1,499 write-in votes.

Taking on a sitting member of the House after a late-launch means this is an underdog campaign, but one with a serious bite. He may be an outsider to Harrisburg, but he has the record at home. As the West Rockhill Supervisor, Jim delivered for police and first responders, saved taxpayer money, and advanced the township. Through Jim’s leadership, West Rockhill protected tax dollars by cutting expenses, increased funding for roads & infrastructure, improved the energy efficiency and handicap accessibility of municipal buildings, and became the first municipality to convert to 100% renewable energy.

By holding government accountable and delivering for his constituents, Jim won over Independent, Republican, and Democratic voters alike. 

Jim Miller believes he will be the candidate to flip the 145th. He could not stay on the sidelines while Pennsylvanians’ rights to vote, rights to choose, and a rights to a healthy future for Upper Bucks were stolen for political gain. 

What drives you to serve the people in the 145th district of PA?

In 2015 I ran for West Rockhill Township Supervisor because I saw a need for change and I now see that need for change in PA. Far right extremists are planning to take control of our State and strip citizens of our Rights.  If these extremists win this November, women will lose their right to make their own reproductive choices and I believe that is just the beginning. Government mandates will control who we love and marry, how and if we vote, what books we read. They want to expand their power by removing the checks and balances provided by the Executive and Judicial branches of our government. I am running to protect the citizens of Pa from government overreach.

Why should we be worried about reproductive rights? What can be done to protect them?

The question should be, who thinks women aren’t capable of making their own decisions based on their knowledge of a situation? There are factors in every situation that are shared between a woman, her doctor and possibly her family and spiritual advisor. Making a blanket statement with no exceptions is not only degrading to women but also a health threat, even death, in certain situations.  I personally know women who if put in this situation will endure excruciating pain and possible death if forced to go through a full term pregnancy.

How will you communicate with the people of the 145th if elected? How do you plan to keep them engaged?

During my time as a township supervisor in West Rockhill I engaged with our community while attending local events and through personal meetings, phone conversations, emails, etc. These interactions were both informative and rewarding and kept me connected to my community. Working with constituents, understanding their problems, and collaborating for a successful solution gave me a sense of purpose and confirmation of the true reason we serve in office. When I am elected this November, I plan on bringing these same strategies to serve the people of the 145th as well as broadening my reach through social media updates and regular Newsletters.

What are your worries regarding education? What can be done about it?

Charter schools are a great concern. Money is taken from public education for distribution in the Charter school network with very little accounting or transparency. Charter schools have their place and can meet the needs of children struggling to succeed in a public education setting, or for students requiring a more focused approach to address their specific talents. However, the cost for sending a child to a Charter school should equal the cost incurred by that school in educating the child. Every charter or private school receiving taxpayer funds will be held accountable for their financial information, curriculum, admissions, and student performance.

What can be done to make elections more efficient and effective?

Expanding mail-in voting would provide greater access to all voters including seniors, shift workers, voters with disabilities, parents of young children, those with weakened immune systems, etc. Allowing the 67 PA counties to pre-canvass mail-in ballots would be cost-reductive and significantly more efficient. Designating election day as a holiday would provide greater access to those voters who prefer in-person voting. Currently 23 states have some form of automatic voter registration.  The registration could occur when interacting with another government agency such as the Department of Transportation or based on activation at age 18.

What can be done to keep our voting rights secure? 

Mail-in ballots were implemented pursuant to the 2019 enactment of Act 77 (which was passed by the General Assembly with a Republican majority.) Following the 2020 election there were persistent false claims of voter fraud that were disproven through court challenges and a pilot audit. The delay in counting the mail-in votes opened the door to these false claims. Passing legislation that allows Counties to pre-canvass mail-in ballots would result in a more timely release of election results. Our elections are already secure. Two pronged post-election audits are presently being performed by the Counties and the State which include a statistical sample required by state law, and a statewide risk-limiting audit to be implemented in 2022.  We need to do a better job in consistently educating our voters on the security of the election process including partnering with non-partisan organizations already dedicated to this mission.

What can be done to create safe and responsible gun ownership? 

I am a gun owner and I have a License to Carry Firearms.  I received my first rifle when I was 12 years old from our local Chief of Police so I could get a Boy Scout Merit Badge. The Chief and my father, who was the Justice of the Peace, took me to the range and taught me gun safety and how to shoot and clean my weapon. There are many responsible gun owners in PA, but putting powerful weapons in the hands of those who have not had a thorough background check is dangerous as we are witnessing every day.  The age limit to own an automatic weapon should be raised to 21. Red flag laws should be stronger and come with harsher penalties.

What else (broad spectrum) is important to you, that you want to accomplish when in office?

  • Taxpayers should not be spending billions of dollars annually subsidizing the fossil fuel industry.  It is time to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel by moving to renewable energy which will lead to cleaner air and water for Pennsylvanians.  I led the effort to offset 100% of taxpayer funded electricity usage in West Rockhill Township by installing solar energy and eliminating over $500,000 in long term expenses. The model has been shared to many municipalities across Pennsylvania who are considering similar projects.
  • I am against the privatization of municipal water systems. Data suggests privatization will create extra burden on the municipality and add cost to the taxpayer.
  • Our streams, rivers, lakes, and homeowners need to be protected from the dangers of fracking.
  • We need to look at property tax caps for seniors.  As the cost of living rises seniors could be forced out of their homes.
David O'Donnell

David O'Donnell

David O'Donnell recently ran for School Board Director in Pennridge SD. He has been a manager in Retail and Hospitality for over 20 years. He works within the community through organizations such as Pennridge Democrats. He is also a coach in the Pennridge Little League.

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