Saturday, March 6, 2021
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Letter: Back to High School for Sen. Corman

Letter to the editor:

Last November, state Sen. Jim Brewster of Pennsylvania’s 45th District narrowly won re-election by 69 votes against opponent Nicole Ziccarelli. The results were certified by the Pennsylvania Department of State and upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. However, ongoing yet unavailing litigation has prompted Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman to ignore the will of the voters and abandon his duty to swear-in Sen. Brewster, rendering the 45th District without representation and undermining democracy.

Two years ago, as a junior at the State College Area High School, I ran for speaker of the Leadership Council. The Leadership Council is a student forum focused on discussing and resolving school-related issues. That same year, the council invited Sen. Corman and his 2018  challenger Ezra Nanes (who is now seeking the State College mayorship) to address their candidacies.

As my parents taught me—and I’m sure as Sen. Corman teaches his own kids—we don’t always get our way. I faced this fact when I lost the election for Speaker of the Leadership Council by one vote. But, unlike Sen. Corman, I didn’t endlessly deny the result, perpetuate baseless conspiracies, or shout at my peers, inflicting incalculable damage to the democratic process. Since I cared about my classmates, I collaborated with my opponent to fulfill our common interest: making State High a better place to learn. That same year, we also became teammates on State High’s inaugural Special Olympics Unified Bocce Team, putting aside our past to foster positive change.

Sen. Corman and his GOP colleagues in the Pennsylvania Senate could learn something from two high schoolers. If Sen. Corman truly cares about Pennsylvanians and wants what’s best for the Commonwealth, he will promptly swear in Sen. Brewster and surrender his crusade on democracy, which has unfortunately become a recent trend in post-election America.

Elliot Sheehan
Boalsburg