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Pinsley announces bid for Pa. auditor general

Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley, recently elected to his second term, announced his candidacy for Pennsylvania Auditor General, declaring himself the only candidate who can flip the office back to the Democratic Party and promising to boldly re-imagine the office with “audits to impact” intended to result in policy change and spur the legislature forward.

“Tim DeFoor, the incumbent auditor general, is backed by powerful special interests looking to privatize education who will stop at nothing to hold this seat,” Pinsley said. “It’s imperative our nominee be best suited to be able to take on DeFoor.

“I’m a veteran, small business owner, and incumbent controller in Pennsylvania’s 10th largest county with a real record of results.

“Only I can stand on that stage and make the case against DeFoor.”

Pinsley says during his tenure as controller, he has identified ways to reduce county health care costs by $70 million over 10 years or more than 23 percent of the county’s total health care spend, advocated for dozens of children wrongly removed from their families by powerful hospital networks, promoted environmental sustainability and pushed to divest $140 million of taxpayer money from Wells Fargo over their support of dangerous anti-choice candidates.

“We expect our attorneys general to have law degree,” Pinsley said.

“We should expect our auditor generals to have relevant financial experience.

“I am the only candidate running with private sector executive experience managing multimillion-dollar budgets and public sector experience where I’ve done the work, saved taxpayers’ money, and used the office to advocate for change.

“My audits translate to impact.”

According to Pinsley, Lehigh County is a swing region of a swing state. Neighboring Northampton County, the Lehigh Valley has often been a decider in statewide races.

“I have a history of winning tough races,” Pinsley said. “In 2017, I was the first Democrat elected in South Whitehall Township in over 20 years.

“In 2019, I flipped the controller’s office from red to blue in a purple county.

“I outperformed President (Joe) Biden’s countywide vote share during my recent re-election.

“I am the only candidate who knows what it takes to win tough races and has won. Republican votes and has flipped seats.

“I believe nominees matter. The recent election in Allegheny County shows we can lose races we should win or have tougher fights than we need.

“My resume and my record are beyond question, and the Republican Party won’t be able to paint me as extreme or unqualified.

“I’ve served my country and community and know how to win in cities, suburbs, and rural communities. I am the only candidate who knows the job, has done the job, and can win the job.”

Pinsley says his top priorities include:

·Evaluating the financial and human costs of crisis pregnancy centers and their impact on state spending and women’s health to protect women from these dangerous, extremist organizations that spread falsehoods and medically inaccurate information and encourage more state spending on family planning and contraceptive services to reduce social service costs.

·Conducting a socio-economic audit to truly put in perspective the cost of underfunding our schools that quantifies the impact on wages, public health, competitiveness, social development, and public safety to support education litigants in pushing the state to act.

·Auditing state support of county election offices and the state of county election departments, which are the backbone of democracy, to ensure Pennsylvania is investing in and defending democracy during this critical period.

·Evaluating Pennsylvania’s economic development programs compared to other states to improve our economic competitiveness and emphasize the importance of economic development tied to labor support, including connecting state dollars to project labor agreements and responsible contractor ordinances and

·Evaluate state support for county children and youth services to ensure adequate staffing, ensure our systems give families due process, and protect and promote child welfare through fair, efficient, and thorough processes.

“Auditor General has the power to be one of the most transformative offices in the state, a watchdog and advocate for change,” Pinsley said. “I’m the only one able to tap into the office’s fullest potential and the only one who can win this race.

“If we value reproductive justice, saving democracy, and promoting economic opportunity and a fair economy, we need to win first.

“Nothing gets done if we don’t win.”

Mark Pinsley