CLEARFIELD – Mark B. McCracken of Clearfield announced his candidacy for the United States House of Representatives in the 5th Congressional District of Pennsylvania on the Democratic ballot.
McCracken, age 44, is a lifelong resident of Clearfield County and is currently serving in his second term as Clearfield County Commissioner. Prior to being elected county commissioner, he served 10 years on the Clearfield Area School District Board of Directors. Before entering politics, McCracken worked in the computer and information technology field from 1983 to 1988 with North American Refractories Engineering Department in Curwensville, PA and served as Director of Information Technology for Clearfield County Government from 1988 to 2004.
In announcing his candidacy McCracken said, “I believe I have the experience necessary to serve this vast rural district in north central Pennsylvania. As county commissioner, everyday I deal directly with important issues facing all counties in the district including economic development and job creation, balancing budgets, controlling health care costs and dealing with constituent issues. I also work on a regular basis with officials from all levels of government including the state and federal.”.
Currently, McCracken serves in the following positions: Member of the Full Board – North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, Board Member – Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority, Board Member – Central Pennsylvania Community Action, Member of the Executive Board and Technology Committee Chair – County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, Board Member – Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging and is a member of the Executive Board of the Penn-Ag Democrats.
McCracken also serves as chairman of the Northern Counties Heath Insurance Purchasing Cooperative Board. This board was organized in 2005 through the efforts of McCracken working with commissioners in Clinton and McKean counties to form a multi-county health insurance purchasing co-op and create a self insured pool account. Participation in the co-op is up to 9 county governments and member counties are bringing health insurance costs under control which is saving tax dollars.
McCracken resides in the Clearfield area with his wife Kelly and daughter Amanda. On the personal side, McCracken states “My wife Kelly and I both work full time jobs in order to make ends meet. Like the majority of people living in the 5th district we struggle to pay our mortgage, car payments, utility bills, child care expenses, rising gas prices, heating costs and to put food on the table. Unlike others already in this race, I know firsthand the problems that working families face everyday, and Washington isn’t helping us.”.
Commenting on what he feels is the biggest problem confronting the nation McCracken said “The problem Congress must confront is the growing financial crisis and stalled economy. The federal government’s debt is at an all time high, big name banking institutions are on the verge of default and are being bailed out by China, Saudi Arabia and other foreign interests. My greatest fear is that the security of our nation won’t be breached by terrorism but through economic and financial collapse brought on by the uncontrolled debt of the federal government.”.
McCracken continues, “It is time that the President and members of Congress, regardless party affiliation, start showing fiscal responsibility by balancing the federal budget and paying down the national debt. This will make us stronger, more secure and allow us to address important domestic issues like health care, tax reform and keeping social security solvent.”.
On issues specific to the 5th district McCracken states, “I oppose the tolling of Interstate 80 and as a county commissioner have been very active working in opposition to tolling. I have a strong record in opposition of landfill development and the import of out of state trash to the region. I fully support the rights guaranteed to law abiding citizens by the Second Amendment.”.
In conclusion McCracken acknowledges this will be a tough battle for a Democratic candidate to win. “As a lifelong resident of the region, I know the political layout of the 5th District and the north central region. I trust that voters from all parties will look closely at the candidates and will elect the person to best represent them in Washington. The one belief that I hold firm is to remember who put me in office and who I work for. It’s not the lobbyists, the party leaders, the big money contributors or the special interests. My commitment is, and will always be, to the individual voters and citizens that elect me.”