PA Libertarian Councilman Running in 2-Way for State Rep

Two years ago, when Libertarian Erik Viker ran for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 85th District, he received nearly 10 percent of the vote in a 3-way race and beat the Democrat candidate in three precincts. This year he will likely receive more votes running in a 2-way race against the Republican incumbent, State Representative Fred Keller.

Erik Viker has made the Libertarian name more familiar to voters in Pennsylvania’s Snyder County since he was elected to the Selinsgrove Borough Council in 2007 where he served as the Council’s Vice President. In 2011, he was easily re-elected, and was the second-highest vote getter in a field of five candidates for three council seats.

As state representative, Viker promises voters that he will introduce legislation to curb spending on victimless crimes in Pennsylvania such as zoning requirements that are "making people pay a fortune," according to Viker. "We need to respect private property again. Why do you need a permit to do something to your own property?"

Viker will work to focus on cutting government spending rather than wasteful and unneeded legislation such as a resolution that was passed to make 2012 officially "The Year of the Bible" in Pennsylvania. "It’s pandering to the right wing base of the Republican party," he says. "It’s so they can go and tell their constituents that they ‘voted for the Bible.’ The very idea that they wasted time on that over how can we save taxpayers’ money is wrong."

On the Selinsgrove Borough Council, Viker has been instrumental in creating a no-tax-increase budget two years in a row. He also works closely with the Selinsgrove Police Department to ensure that the police respect citizens’ rights and civil liberties, and he generally serves as a Libertarian voice for issues that the council faces.

Erik Viker says that if Libertarians can get elected to local office, their constituents will learn who they are as individuals and see that they are good stewards of public funds.

"You can see light bulbs go off over peoples’ heads when I ask if government should be doing a particular job or initiative proposed, and whether or not the government can do it well," Viker says. “If you respectfully challenge the preconceptions people have about the role of government, you can change their minds."

While his odds of unseating an entrenched incumbent are long, Viker hopes voters in his district will have a chance to hear him out. He reports that the local newspapers and radio stations have treated third parties "very well" so far.

For the next month, Viker will continue to make public appearances during Pennsylvania’s fall festival season and meet as many voters as he can.

Erik Viker is a professional theater stagehand and professor of that trade at Susquehanna University.

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