Elections 2012: Means Brings Grassroots Activism to Senate Race
The Bethel Park resident and former nurse said years of lobbying for limited state government have prepared her for Harrisburg.
“I’ll limit my time in office to two terms,” Means said. “And I will not accept a pension as a part of my platform. Pensions are for careers.
“Texas has only a part-time legislature, I want to us be part-time,” she said. “Here it's set up to entice career politicians when it should be citizens volunteering for duty.”
Means, a Bethel Park resident and former nurse at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, will vie against fellow Republicans D. Raja of Mt. Lebanon and Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Moon, for the seat soon to be vacated by Sen. John Pippy, who announced his retirement from Harrisburg earlier this year. No Democrats are seeking the seat in the April 24 primary.
She said her medical background sets her a part from her opponents.
“When it comes to implementing health care mandates, they are talking about medical treatments but they don’t have the background,” Means said of members of the state’s senate. “Nurses are problem solvers. We have level head and a steady hand.”
Means, who has also served as a committeewoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party, said she decided to enter the race to help counter what she says is gridlock in the state’s senate, despite a Republican majority.
“After Gov. [Tom] Corbett was elected, the Republican majority in the house introduced a lot of reform-minded legislation,” Means said. “And then it stalls in the senate.”
Means said decades of acting as a conservative activist on issues ranging from homeschooling to pro-life causes have prepared her for Harrisburg politics: She said she hopes to move to implement term limits for members of the General Assembly.
“I don’t think it will be easy,” Means said. “I think one thing that we can do is make it so that it goes into effect in say ten years, to make it more appealing [to current lawmakers].”
Means said her background lobbying for conservative issues gives her additional perspective.
“I learned how it works,” she said. “I think the biggest thing I learned [while lobbying state lawmakers] is hat the state constitution is ignored and circumvented.”