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Wiccan minister to run in the 51st District as a Green Party candidate

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Kathryn Jones of South Union has announced she will be a Green Party candidate for the 51st District for the state House in the Nov. 4 general election.

A Fayette County woman has announced her candidacy under the Green Party for state representative in the 51st district.

The Rev. Kathryn Jones will challenge incumbent state Rep. Tim Mahoney, a South Union Democrat, for the two-year seat.

A former Democrat, Jones said she believes the local Democratic party has failed the community and the party as a whole.

“I hope to put the brakes on this out-of-control cronyism and nepotism,” Jones said. “We just need a two-year break to catch our breath and find a different direction, because the direction we are going is nowhere.”

In a campaign announcement, Jones said she supports many of the Green Party's core principles, including raising the minimum wage and legalizing marijuana, with revenues from marijuana sales used to lower property taxes and fund education.

She said she “recognizes the struggles of the everyday citizen.”

A 1980 graduate of Uniontown Area High School, Jones said she's a strong supporter of the Bill of Rights and an Occupy activist.

A self-described Wiccan who is ordained through Universal Ministries, Jones said she “specializes in interfaith relations.”

Other Green Party principles Jones cited include political reform, individual participation in government, ending “government spying” and ensuring Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure are not violated.

Jones said she is attempting to collect enough signatures on nominating petitions to be placed on the November ballot.

Independent candidates or those running as a minority party candidate have until Aug. 1 to file nominating petitions, according to Ron Ruman of the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Ruman said Jones will need to acquire 300 signatures on nominating papers to get on the ballot.

The 51st district has a population of 63,028 in parts of Fayette and Somerset counties. In Fayette, it includes the city of Uniontown, the townships of Georges, German, Henry Clay, Nicholson, South Union, Springfield, Springhill, Stewart and Wharton; and Fairchance, Markleysburg, Ohiopyle, Point Marion and Smithfield boroughs. In Somerset, it includes the townships of Addison, Elk Lick, Lower Turkeyfoot, Summit and Upper Turkeyfoot; and Addison, Confluence, Garrett, Meyersdale, Salisbury and Ursina boroughs.

Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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