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WESA Candidate Survey: Ken Bach and Eric Davanzo on the issues

We surveyed Republican Eric Davanzo and Democrat Ken Bach, the candidates for Pennsylvania's 58th State House District, on top issues for the 2022 election.

About the WESA Candidate Survey: WESA sent surveys to all candidates running in competitive races for federal and state offices in our listening area, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Cambria, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. Our candidate survey was based upon input we solicited from voters.

We followed up with candidates multiple times via both phone and email. If a candidate did not respond, we have noted that below. (If you're a candidate and would like to complete the survey now, please email Patrick Doyle,

We have fixed basic capitalization and punctuation issues, but have not otherwise edited candidates' answers.

In the wake of the Dobbs decision, some state lawmakers believe Pennsylvania should ban abortion after six weeks, with no exceptions. Would you support such a proposal — yes/no?

  • Please explain your stance and identify other changes, if any, you would like to make to the state’s abortion laws.

Bach: No. I do not believe abortion should be used as a form of birth control, but rather as a form of health care. Rape, incest, and other devastating circumstances require there to be safe, accessible solutions to all impregnated persons. Furthermore, society — through proper channels — should educate expectant mothers about adoption and abortion options when they are faced with the tough decision. Regardless of the difference of opinion we all find ourselves in with this discussion, it is ultimately the woman’s decision — not the government’s.

Davanzo: Did not respond.

Pennsylvania's minimum wage has been set at the federal rate of $7.25 an hour since 2009. Do you favor state action to change the minimum wage? Yes/no?

  • Please explain our stance and, if you support a change, identify the minimum wage rate you believe is appropriate.

Bach: Yes. The minimum wage has remained unchanged for many reasons, with the biggest being the lack of representation for its affected workers. Unions continue to grow, and more companies continue to unionize, but the minimum wage has stayed the same. These unrepresented groups have gotten beaten by the worry of higher restaurant and grocery pricing, but inflation is natural, and it’s time our minimum wage inflated too.

Davanzo: Did not respond.

Do you support no-excuse mail-in voting in Pennsylvania — yes/no?

  • Please explain your stance and identify any other changes you believe should be made to state voting laws.

Bach: Yes. Mail-in voting allows for a more educated voting experience and supports those who sometimes struggle to make time on election day to head to the polls. Many voters these days arrive to their polling location and find themselves unsure of the best choice for certain positions — which can lead to them choosing the candidate with the better handouts that day. Mail-in voting allows us more opportunities to educate ourselves on the candidates. With a clear list in front of them, the voter can utilize the resources they have available to them to pick the candidate they feel is best.

Davanzo: Did not respond.

Do you support Pennsylvania’s involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which sets pricing for carbon emissions — yes/no?

  • Please explain your stance, and describe any changes you wish to see to state energy or climate policy.

Bach: No. Moving towards utilizing carbon free energy is something we all should worry about, but not something we should all pay for. I believe we can use PA natural gas to help get to this carbon free world by using carbon capture technology and fuel cells. Raising the cost of energy by taxing it for government distribution of the funds is not the solution. Rather, let’s offer tax incentives for companies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and promote home and business solar, commercial solar fields, and other growing technologies.

Davanzo: Did not respond.

Inflation is a concern for Pennsylvanians, and some legislators have called for either reducing or suspending the 58-cent-a-gallon gas tax. Would you support such a measure? Yes/no?

  • If yes, how would you replace the revenue to pay for State Police and road spending — and are there other inflation-fighting policies you would pursue?

Bach: No. By adjusting the way the money is raised, we are decreasing the effectiveness of the system and risk lessening the flow of revenue. The current route of revenue for these programs is efficient and suitable, for it taxes the users of the state police and road maintenance systems. The 58-cent-a-gallon tax has not been stopping us from driving, but worsening road conditions will. If we eliminate the tax, we likely lessen the funding for road maintenance.

Davanzo: Did not respond.

In the face of rising homicide and other crime rates, would you support requiring universal background checks for gun purchases? Yes/no?

  • Please explain your stance, and describe other approaches to fighting crime that you would support.

Bach: Yes. Common sense gun legislation — that most of us want and can agree on — should happen. I do believe everyone has the right to defend their home and family, but one of my big concerns is the lack of gun safety. I see far too many people with weapons that aren’t safe. Hopefully improving hunter safety courses and concealed carry seminars can improve this. As a family man I vow to work on resolving this issue for our kid’s sake. I don’t understand the love of assault weapons but do understand that some want them to protect their home. I’m not sure we have found the proper way to legislate this issue, but I believe education and learning to understand each other better will go a long way in reducing gun violence.

Davanzo: Did not respond.

School funding in Pennsylvania is heavily supported by property taxes. Would you support efforts to change that system — yes/no?

  • Please explain your stance and describe the changes you would support to how public education is funded.

Bach: Yes. As a 14 years school board member of Yough School Board I understand the need to end property taxes as the main funding source for schools. I support HB13 which will eliminate school property taxes. Please look at for information about the plan. It will fairly fund education across the state and help seniors that are being crushed by increased property taxes.

Davanzo: Did not respond.

Emily Previti is a podcast producer and data journalist, and executive editor and co-creator of Obscured from Kouvenda Media.