The choices Tuesday will shape policies in Harrisburg, Trenton, and Washington. Voters should focus on candidates with experience, independence, and integrity.
Here's a recap of The Inquirer's endorsements:
The race for Pennsylvania governor boasts a candidate with the experience and track record needed to run a complex bureaucracy. As Allegheny County chief executive, Democrat DAN ONORATO confronted budget deficits and demonstrated an ability to shrink a bloated bureaucracy.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate JOE SESTAK offers an important military veteran's perspective. His view that government still has an important role to play in improving peoples' lives is in the mainstream.
In a congressional rematch with a former opponent in Bucks County, Rep. PATRICK MURPHY (D., Pa.) has proven to be a good fit for his district. He has a generally centrist voting record.
The open congressional seat in Delaware County should go to someone known for his integrity, former U.S. Attorney PATRICK MEEHAN, a Republican.
A low-profile incumbent in Chester County, Republican Rep. JIM GERLACH could bring a moderate's voice to discussions on health care, tax policy, military affairs, and growing the economy.
As a pioneer on health-care issues, Democratic Rep. ALLYSON Y. SCHWARTZ deserves another term serving Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County.
Rounding out the area delegation, Democratic Rep. CHAKA FATTAH from Philadelphia and Republican Rep. JOSEPH PITTS from Lancaster and Chester counties deserve reelection.
For state Senate, incumbent Democrats CHRISTINE TARTAGLIONE and ANTHONY H. WILLIAMS represent their urban districts well. In the suburbs, Republicans ROBERT M. "TOMMY" TOMLINSON, CHUCK MCILHINNEY, STEWART J. GREENLEAF, and EDWIN B. "TED" ERICKSON all deserve new terms.
The lone state House race of note is in Northeast Philadelphia, where Democrat Kevin Boyle would be a welcome alternative to Republican Rep. John Perzel, who is facing criminal charges.
Also in the city, voters should vote YES on four ballot questions covering a variety of issues.
The congressional delegation in South Jersey shouldn't look any different after Tuesday, providing voters stick with four incumbents who have all earned reelection.
That will mean voters have to deny a former Eagles lineman the chance to break into politics, but he offers little more than lightweight antigovernment rhetoric compared with the carefully considered record of Democratic Rep. JOHN ADLER. Freshman Adler is smart and votes his conscience. He broke with most fellow Democrats in supporting an extension of tax rates that favor the wealthy. He also voted against health-care reform, but he wants to fix rather than repeal the health law.
In Camden County, Rep. ROBERT ANDREWS has been an effective member of Congress, and is on the right side on most major issues facing the nation. The Democrat has a solid record as an insightful legislator, a budget hawk, and an independent voice.
Representing many Shore communities, incumbent Republican Rep. FRANK LOBIONDO has an excellent record of service and has ably represented his district.
Republican Rep. CHRIS SMITH of Hamilton is a principled and effective congressman on issues ranging from veterans to the environment, in addition to human rights. He deserves reelection.
Finally, a ballot question on dedicating assessments on wages by the state to employee benefits merits a YES vote.