The 2020 election raised questions and concerns in the minds of voters, ranging from the integrity of electoral procedures to access to the ballot. What election law reforms, if any, would you support to ensure that all Pennsylvania voters have equal access to free, fair, and secure elections?
Specifically, I would sign a law to repeal Law 77 and require a voter card. I will appoint a Commonwealth Secretary who is both experienced in the conduct of elections and fully committed to the rule of law. We must commit to fair and honest elections. If we can’t trust the vote, there are no winners.
How would you position Pennsylvania to be a leader on environmental issues, including climate change?
The environmental safeguards contained in our Pennsylvania Constitution for clean air and clean water are vital to Pennsylvania’s future. As governor, I will appoint cabinet members and agencies committed to protecting our environment and stewarding our natural resources. Additionally, I would continue to promote the safe and efficient use of natural gas which has helped reduce our carbon emissions by nearly 19% since 2005.
Some states have acted to restrict the rights of transgender people. What is your position on transgender rights?
If an adult chooses to be transgender, it is their personal choice. As a public policy, I do not support boys’ participation in girls’ sports or women’s access to bathrooms or changing rooms.
Experts predict the U.S. Supreme Court may soon overturn Roe v. Wade, who established the constitutional right to abortion. It would then be up to Pennsylvania lawmakers to govern the procedure. What is your position on abortion? Should it be protected or restricted?
As someone born in the slums of southern Brazil and put up for adoption, I appreciate that my biological mother chose life. As a committed pro-lifer, I would sign the Heartbeat and Down Syndrome bills.
What should Pennsylvania’s minimum wage be, now set at $7.25 an hour?
At Walmart and Sheetz, the starting wage is $15 to $16 an hour, more than double the current minimum wage. This is the result of the free market setting the minimum wage. We do not need the government to set an artificial minimum wage, which would hurt some small businesses and cause some young people to lose their jobs.
What motivates you ? What is an example where your passion and government service have worked hand in hand?
I have a passion for helping people and seeing them achieve their dreams and aspirations. I am not a politician or an elected official and I believe government should never be a hindrance to people pursuing their dreams. I fought for less government and more individual freedom for years. An example of my desire to help others was in the fight to keep military bases in Pennsylvania open during the Base Realignment and Closure Commission process. We have succeeded and have kept thousands of jobs here.
What, if anything, would you do to reform Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system? Would you support the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults?
I would promote criminal justice reform initiatives such as Clean Slate, the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, and probation reform. I would fully fund the Pennsylvania State Police and oppose any effort to defund the police. I am open to legislation legalizing small amounts of recreational marijuana if fully approved by law enforcement and business.
What are the limits of political rhetoric? What duty do elected leaders have to speak honestly and provide factual information to voters?
I believe that elected officials have a duty to deal with facts and defend public policies in a civil and professional manner. I’ve been called the “Happy Warrior” because when I disagreed with others, I did so with a smile on my face. You don’t have to be a fool to stand up for what’s right.
Charlie Gerow, a Republican strategist, former lobbyist and CEO of Quantum Communications, a Harrisburg marketing and public relations firm, is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania in the May 17 primary.