Frankford and Bridesburg: District 177 State Representative Race Giving an Underdog a Chance

As the two Presidential Candidates, Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton, prepare their last few arguments in the campaign trail, party representatives throughout the nation prepare for the outcome on November 8th.

This year’s general election is set to tweak various legislations put through during United States President, Barack Obama‘s, two terms. Education, a main topic for both candidates, seems to have different plans.

According to Clinton’s official campaign website, the Democratic Presidential Candidate plans to make debt-free college available to all Americans and taking on student loan debt.

Now, Trump’s plan to better the education system, takes itself away from the college loans and focuses more on providing young children in poverty better choices of education.   According to the Republican Presidential Candidate’s official website, Trump plans on providing an extra $20 Billion towards school choices.

Though, these two candidates promise great renovations to the national education system, local Democratic and Republican Party State Representative nominees in Philadelphia District 177, have a plan of their own.

Hohenstein at his Frankford Campaign Office. Photo by Sabrina Silva

First time Democratic State Representative nominee, Joe Hohenstein, has a large focus on bettering the education system in District 177.

“An issue, is the funding for education,” Hohenstein said, “because with a bigger state budget, we can do more appropriate and more of a fair funding formula.”

The fair funding formula has been adopted in Pennsylvania in this past year, however, according to Hohenstein, the funding is still not as fair as it could be to the education system.

Now, for the 32-year politician, John Taylor, has spent his State Representative years implementing programs such as the PA 529 plan, which provides families with an inexpensive way to save for college. The plan focuses on giving families an opportunity to gain a tax break and provide their children with early funding on college education. According to the PA 529 plan’s official website, one can deduct up to $14,000 per beneficiary, per year.

Taylor at his Bridesburg campaign office. Photo by Jared Phillips

The economy and job market has also been a primary subject in the general election. However, with the unemployment rate dropping, for both candidates, there seems to be a happier medium on how to make that continue to happen. For the Clinton campaign, there seems to be a big focus on paid family and medical leave, and the plan is based off a 12 week leave provided for newborn mothers, those taking care of ill family members and/or injured themselves.

However, for the Trump campaign, a high priority promise of creating 25 million new jobs by implicating a better taxing system on large companies, giving it more revenue and bringing foreign jobs back to the United States.

In the Philadelphian District 177, Taylor has spent most of his political years focusing on taxation issues regarding the working class of Philadelphia. According to, Taylor authored Act 153 of 2012, allowing Pennsylvania’s neighborhoods to create public land bank authorities in order to acquire, manage and develop tax-foreclosed properties.

“The biggest difference between me as a Republican and my colleagues, is that I’m constantly battling the anti-labor sentiment in the Republican caucus,” Taylor said, “I’m very much more match with Democrats when it comes to labor.”

For Taylor’s opponent, Hohenstein, an economic boost is a primary focus in District 177. According to Hohenstein’s campaign website,, the underdog candidate plans on taking this election to place a severance tax on natural gas drilling.

“What kind of state budget are we going to create with our votes,” Hohenstein said, “that will be more reflective of economic justice then the status quo where corporations get tax breaks but the middle class doesn’t.”

Though the two State Representative Candidates for District 177 share different opinions on economic and education reforms, they are both sincerely concerned about the neighborhoods in their district.

Hohenstein Rally in Frankford 10/15. Photo by Sabrina Silva

“I want to get the neighborhoods back for people who live here,” Hohenstein said, “and do the best I can for them in the state house up in Harrisburg.”

“If I get a call about something that is problematic in their back yard, with their neighbor, with the street, I’ll go there myself.” Taylor said, “The staff goes out, we’re pretty mobile, and in pretty good position to move things in Harrisburg as well.”

The national election, however, is being portrayed in the media as more of a publicity stunt rather than a Presidential election. This is causing republican and democratic representatives to feel less confident about their party leaders.

“If you go in this neighborhood, you’ll see a lot of support for Trump,” Taylor said, “it was not my first choice for sure, for many of us,” he continued, “but that’s what were left with.”

-Text, images and video by Sabrina Silva and Jared Phillips.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.