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When state Rep. Bill Kortz announced his retirement in January, Linda Book had to quickly make her decision whether to run for the 38th Legislative District seat.
“Sam DeMarco (chairman of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County) called me and asked me to run,” said Book, a member of Whitehall Borough council.
She also serves on the board of directors and the board of trustees of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and was out of town when DeMarco called, so she wasn’t able to get the petition signatures necessary in time to run in the Republican primary.
Instead, she earned the Republican nomination as a write-in candidate.
Education: Baldwin High School
Career: Private pilot; Whitehall Borough Councilwoman, 19 years; board of directors and board of trustees, Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs; certified pet therapy volunteer; veteran, U.S. Army Signal Corps
A proud veteran of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Book has spent her life volunteering for public service, including 19 years on borough council. Among other accomplishments, one of her proudest was launching the borough’s annual Veteran’s Day celebration as well as its Memorial Day ceremony.
In addition, she volunteered, along with her service dog, for six years to visit veterans and other patients in local hospitals.
In Whitehall, Book Book may be best known for starting the Library Easy Access to Residents in Need, or LEARN Bus, as part of the Whitehall Public Library. The LEARN Bus has been responsible for introducing a number of refugee and resettled families to the Allegheny County Library System. The LEARN Bus helps citizens get library cards, check out books and learn how to use the library system as a resource.
If elected, Book has pledged to refuse the per diem payments to which legislators are entitled.
“I want to eliminate waste,” she said. “One of the main reasons that I think I belong in Harrisburg is because I feel so strongly about eliminating waste and refining Pennsylvania’s budget.
“Every other citizen has to pay for (their own) food during a workday, so I think it’s wasteful spending to have those food per-diems,” Book said.
Book also plans to focus on programs to help small businesses.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” she said. Book also feels strongly about providing property tax relief to senior citizens.
“I think we just have to find some tax relief for seniors and property tax is one area that could use reform,” Book said.
Book is supporting President Trump’s re-election.
“President Trump isn’t perfect, but I’d rather be told the bold truth instead of pretty lies,” Book said. “President Trump supports the American people. Prior to COVID, this economy was doing great and I have faith that he will do it again. I truly believe that President Trump will bring back these jobs. Not to mention, he is for law and order. It blows my mind that people in this country think we can live without law and order.”
Jason A. Mignanelli is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh’s North Hills and a student at Duquesne University. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published October 29, 2020.