It started simply enough.
I mentioned on Twitter that I grew up in Huntingdon, Pa., the county seat of Huntingdon County located 30 miles south of State College.
And the fact that it was not spelled like it is in West Virginia – Huntington.
That’s right. A spell check. “-Don” versus “-Ton.”
Mehmet Oz’s filing of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) spelled Huntingdon Valley incorrectly. Yep, T versus D.
For whatever reason, that has always irked me and caught my eye. So I tweeted it.
Have to admit, as someone who grew up in “Huntingdon” and had to explain that it wasn’t “Huntingdon Valley,” this bugs me.
There is no “Huntington Valley, Pa.”
There is only “Huntingdon Valley, Pa.” pic.twitter.com/QAYf40W6pU
— Sy Snyder (@PoliticsPA) June 13, 2022
And that’s when it all began. The tweet went viral.
Nearly 700,000 impressions, 25,000 engagements and 1,000 likes later, I’m here to clear up a few misconceptions.
Misconception #1. And this one is pretty obvious – 2771 Philmont Avenue, located in the Philmont Commons, is not a place of residence for Oz. Enough folks have retweeted photos of the location. Nor is 1215 Braddock Avenue in Braddock – the mailing address of his opponent – the residence of the Fetterman family.
Misconception #2. FEC instructions for completing the statement of candidacy say “Print or type complete name and mailing address of the candidate.” It does not say that the residential address must be listed on the form.
Misconception #3. The qualifications to run for the U.S. Senate are a minimum of 30 years of age, a United States citizen for nine years, and an inhabitant of the state as outlined in Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution.
- Oz, born in Cleveland, Ohio, has lived for several decades in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from New York City. Oz relocated to Montgomery County in late November or early December of 2020, according to a campaign aide. He pays “market price” rent at the Bryn Athyn home owned by his wife’s parents, the aide said. In April, he and his wife, Lisa, purchased a home in the same Montgomery County town in which his in-laws live (Huntingdon Valley).
- In 2004, former Sen. Rick Santorum came under fire that year after it was revealed that he had moved his family to a large home in Leesburg, Va., but claimed residency in Pennsylvania by virtue of a small home he owned in Penn Hills.
Misconception #4. The U.S. Constitution does not bar dual citizens from serving in Congress. Oz has said he served in the Turkish Army because it is required to maintain his citizenship. He has also gone on the record saying he will renounce his Turkish citizenship if elected to the Senate.
Even with these facts in front of them, some Pennsylvanians will still demand a litmus test from their potential statewide officials. And with a hat tip to those who have stated these before, my suggestions are …
- Do you call the state “Pennsylvania” or “PA”?
- Do you eat hoagies or subs?
- Can you correctly pronounce Lancaster, Reading, Schuylkill and Yuengling?
- And correctly spell the last two?
- Woder or water?
- Do you include the phrase “to be”’ as in “this needs washed”?
- Are these real towns in PA – Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand, Blue Ball and Lititz?
- Is there a difference between “you” and “yinz”?
- Do you go “down the shore” or “to the beach?”
- And finally, Sheetz or Wawa?