James J. Rhoades’ seat: What will the future hold?

I know everyone is writing about the Presidential election, so I wanted to cover a different topic. Instead of discussing Barack Obama or John McCain, I would like to pay respect to State Senator from Schuylkill County named James J. Rhoades.

James Rhoades was campaigning for his eighth term in the Republican Party, when he recently passed away in a car crash. Television and radio campaign messages have been reporting the past few days that Rhoade’s name will remain on the ballot during today’s election. They all claim out of respect for him, vote for him. The deadline to switch a name on a ballot has passed and it’s too late to start with a new Republican candidate. If Rhoades does win the regular election there will be a special election on a later date to decide who will be the new senator between the Democratic candidate, Peter Symon’s and the Independent candidate, Dennis Baylor.

After I voted in the middle of the day today, I went around and asked people their thoughts on the matter. I asked Kayla Flynn, a Bloomsburg University student, what she thought about who should succeed Rhoades.

“I think that out of respect for him there should be something on the ballot saying, if you were going to vote for him check here, but then actually vote for whoever is running. Doing another election is just a waste of people’s time and money. There are plenty of other ways to show your respect for the well beloved Senator Rhoades.”

I also asked Danielle Gibson of Springfield, Pa., what she thought of the plan for Rhoades’s successor.

“When [Rhoades] passed, the Republican candidate that was standing behind him in the polls should just be the new senator. It doesn’t really make sense to have his name on the ballot and have an extra election. Especially if the person that everyone voted for in the primaries isn’t just going to get the position.”

What is your opinion on the sudden death of a well liked and respected senator? Do you feel it is sensible to keep his name on the ballot and vote for him? God bless him and his family and I hope they get a lot of respect and support throughout this campaign. I hope everything works out for the best for the new Senator-elect.

Senator James J. Rhoades

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