PA-9: Sitting Down With Travis Schooley


From looking at the media coverage of the House race in Pennsylvania’s 9th District, Republican candidate Travis Schooley says it’s hard to get an impression of how successfully his campaign has been going. Choosing to not participate in political ad wars, Schooley instead runs his campaign in a very much grassroots fashion.

“We’ve worked hard, very hard, and we’re on the ground,” he asserts.

He brings up how both of his opponents, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Blair) and Art Halvorson, have conducted polls.

“Shuster must have done half a dozen,” Schooley says, “but none of the results have been released.” Halvorson and CPAC, he says, have also quietly conducted their own polls, but with little to no fanfare that one might expect from a candidate happy with the responses.

“If you were winning in the polls,” Schooley points out, “wouldn’t you want to release the results?”

When talk turned to the amateur poll his campaign conducted in February, Schooley says he believes the poll “had merit.” This is despite the fact that Halvorson called him out for not specifically naming him throughout the telephone canvassing Schooley’s campaign did. One of the main reasons?

“We found that few people knew his name,” Schooley shrugs, hence the listing of “Another Candidate” beneath Shuster and Schooley’s names. So, that meant that there was still a third candidate choice.

“But,” and here Schooley leans forward slightly, “it was the only poll in five months released that allowed for the people’s response to three candidates.”

Schooley also claims that recent mailings from the Shuster campaign point toward the incumbent attempting to divide his opposition equally. Building upon Halvorson’s alleged lack of name recognition, Schooley believes Shuster is spreading Halvorson’s name around and, combining that with his own success, Schooley says this will split those voters against the incumbent right down the middle.

“It goes against field efforts,” Schooley says, “and all we can do is work harder.”

One of the biggest reasons Schooley feels he could most accurately represent the 9th District is because of his and his family’s long history in the area.

“It’s the most basic idea, the people elect one of themselves,” he says sagely. He brings up the sizeable amount of his family who live within the district, and how he would be proud to represent them in the House.

Halvorson and Shuster, he says, don’t have near the amount of familial history in the area that he does.

“They wouldn’t care as much.” And, though Shuster’s father, former Rep. Bud Shuster, represented the district for many years before his son, Schooley maintains that Shuster just doesn’t have the “historical background” that he has.

Running for the Pennsylvania House has “been on me for a number of years,” the former military man remarks, and he freely admits that he feels something needs to change. These are the main reasons why he decided to run. “Everything I’ve done has been a contributing factor.”

Speaking of which, Schooley has attempted to run for this seat before, namely in the 2012 election leading up to the primary. Then, however, he was forced to drop out. As a result of a petition challenge, a judge ruled that only 987 of the 1,045 signatures received were valid, thereby leading up to the disqualification. So, what makes this time different?

“I wasn’t fully committed in the past,” Schooley admits. Perhaps made clear by his successful attempt to get his name on the ballot this time around, it appears that Schooley has changed his tune. “I’m convinced something positive will come out of it.”

Moving on to a closer examination of his two opponents, Schooley maintains the point of view that both are “outsiders” when it comes to the 9th District. While he tries to stay away from negativity, he says that he is all about stating the facts.

In regards to Shuster, Schooley says that he’s good at being a politician. Responding to Halvorson’s claims that Shuster isn’t conservative enough, Schooley says that it depends on how you look at the situation.

“There’s evidence in both directions,” he says carefully. In comparing himself to the incumbent as a potential leader, Schooley claims that he doesn’t care so much about rising in the ranks.

“I want to be effective for the people in the district,” he says, adding that he doesn’t get the impression that Shuster works very hard in that department.

With Halvorson, Schooley says that it’s “interesting” how the media tend to side with him against Shuster. “Is it a matter of money?” He shrugs. Though Schooley does definitively say that people in the area don’t know Halvorson, and may be cautious about him. Because he isn’t from the district, Schooley says, “I can’t think he’d hold the people and their future highly.”

Schooley’s experiences that would help him in representing the 9th District go far beyond his family history. For as long as Shuster has been in Congress, he says, he’s been working at the local government level. During this time, Schooley says he’s learned a lot about working around the “red tape” and regulations in order to increase development in the community in areas such as public utilities, schools and hospitals.

“I typically work with at least two dozen different agencies on a regular basis,” he says with a slow nod. “So that’s why,” with a laugh, “I think I’m a great man for the job.”

Schooley says he is the only candidate in the race who has local level experience, making him more aware of how various policies will impact the local government. This, he says, is his distinct advantage.

“I’ve always lived here,” he says, “I always will live here.”

Currently, Schooley is raising his three young children, all between the ages of one and four, with his wife, Jill.

Regarding the ever-popular question dominating PA-9 interviews: would he be up for a debate?

“Absolutely,” he responds, very willing to participate in a three-way debate with Shuster and Halvorson.

16 Responses

  1. I encourage those who feel dejected by GOP primary results today, to research Alanna Hartzok, who was on the Democratic ticket for the 9th.

    She identifies with as a “progressive conservative” with a strong focus on local farms, jobs, and laborers who already face high property & income taxation from Washington.

    If Shuster wins, we might as well strap in for another two years of disconnect between our district and Washington insiders.

  2. Great interview with a great candidate. There is no reason Travis is running other then to be a great representative, bring honor to the position, and help the concept of Liberty as opposed to big government and spending.

    If issues matter, Travis is the right man for the job!

    missy kingofspades your art deck is stacked with chinese businessmen we pulled deeds of your real estate deals art we know mr wang chinese funded your so called real estate development 9th district china is using art to get inside our government art is owned. TRAVIS SCHOOLEY THANK YOU FOR BEING ALL THE GREAT THINGS AMERICA MADE YOU TO BE WE BELIEVE YOU ARE DESTINED TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY READERS TRAVIS SCHOOLEY IS PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL HE IS A CONSTITUTIONAL FATHER BLESSED OUR WE THAT HE KNOWS HIS PURPOSE RUN TO WIN TRAVIS RUN TO WIN BROTHER WE LOVE YOU ALWAYS.

  4. God Bless you Travis Schooley all of Fulton County supports you and what better county to elect the 9th district representative one thing we have is proud private property land owners we will protect and defend the greatest candidate to ever run in the State you are presidential material only you can save us Travis. Art is a devil in disquise we know he is backed by big Chinese businessmen after our 9th district resources. You are a blessing we love you Travis Schooley God made you to be our rep thank you for realizing our purpose. Art can go back to dealing deals with the devil Artty/Billy you will never represent Fulton Co elected or not. Watch Travis own them at the debates all you “posters” supporting a&b Travis is 100x the man a&b clowns could ever be. Travis you have Fulton Co behind you.

  5. @John:

    When Travis causes Bill Shuster to be reelected, come back and tell us all how much his candidacy did to get rid of those secret courts and everything else. Enabling Bill Shuster to stay in office is all Travis can do. A vote for Schooley is a vote for Shuster.

  6. Travis is the Best man. Bill Shuster is a neo-con who supports secret courts. He support secret arrest and killing American citizens with out a trial. Does anyone thinks this is a part of America we want. I think liberty is lost forever. If you take an oath to the Constitution and then support this you are not a conservative you are traitor. May god help us we are slowly loosing liberty and freedom for what. All this bickering about being a conservative is stupid. The question is who will follow their oath to the constitution. That is the only oath they take. Never does anyone take an oath to protect you. Give me liberty or give me death!!!!

  7. The ONLY thing that Travis can say is he’s lived here longer. His grandparents are here. This does not qualify you in anyway. Art Halvorson has lived here for well OVER 20 years now. When he retired from the miltary he and his family came here because this is his wife’s homestead. Her grandparents lived here and she has familial ties that go back much further than travis’. All of this is irrelevent because if you’ve lived here 2 years, 20 years, or 200 years you are still suffering just the same as everyone else in the 9th district living under the Shuster dynasty paying through the nose for every pork barrel spending project they can think of in an attempt to get more gov’t contracts and increase campaign contributions that he can retire with.

  8. Travis I thought you claimed you were a Libertarian. Also what are your views on America’s relationship with Israel? I have heard that a person advising you has anti-Semitic views and proclaims that the real Jews are in Iran. What say you sir?

  9. Shawn,

    I thought Travis was a Libertarian? Ya know, thinks prostitution is okay, believes we should legalize every drug under the sun, basically wants to let Israel get blown to pieces, thinks gay marriage is no big deal, and thinks that Ron Paul is second only to God in wisdom and power. Because that what it means to be authentically Libertarian.

    And if by “Super PAC funded,” you mean “Art is supported by couple of really respected conservative groups that think he actually has a shot at knocking out one of the biggest RINO’s in Congress,” then yeah, buddy, he’s Super PAC funded.

  10. Hi everyone,
    For the Record: My full quote, “It depends on how you look at the situation. There’s evidence in both directions. He is conservative on social issues but he is not a fiscal conservative or a conservative with regards to defending the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

  11. Halvorson supports the high wasteful military spending and is super PAC funded. Vote for a difference and vote for Schooley

  12. Travis is the only true Republican in the race. Halvorson supports big military spending and is super PAC funded and Shuster is the worst of the worst as far as incumbent politicians go. I’ll be voting Schooley on May 20

  13. “I’m the most qualified because my great grandparents lived here and theirs didn’t.”

    Clearly this was meant to run as an April Fools article. If you want to see the Shusters in power for 20 more years, by all means waste your vote on this clown.

  14. Hey Travis is Bill paying you to say stuff like “…there’s evidence in both directions.”?

    You sound like just another politician, trying to have it both ways.

  15. Is this another one of the April Fool’s articles?

    I ask, because: “Responding to Halvorson’s claims that Shuster isn’t conservative enough, Schooley says that it depends on how you look at the situation.

    “There’s evidence in both directions,” he says carefully.”

    Travis, if you’re wishy-washy on whether or not the incumbent is conservative, why on Earth have you run against him three consecutive times?

  • Will Doug Mastriano Run For U.S. Senate?

    • No. Not Enough Support From Mainstream GOP. (91%)
    • Yes. Let Doug Be Doug. (9%)

    Total Voters: 892

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