16th Congressional District – Pastore launches his line for the votes


May 7—For Dan Pastore, fishing isn’t just a hobby, it’s a business.

“I am an avid fisherman.” he said. “It’s relaxing and stimulating, and it’s a chance to get out and see some of the most beautiful places around.”

But he didn’t have much time to cast his line in Lake Erie near his home. He’s been busy running for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania’s 16th U.S. House District.

“There has been very little trout fishing this year,” said Pastore, co-founder of FishUSA, one of the first online tackle companies.

Pastore, of Fairview, Erie County, is running against Lawrence County farmer Rick Telesz for the Democratic nomination and the chance to face six-term U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16, Butler.

But in a way, Pastore already represents Mercer County — on the National Fish and Boat Commission. Pastore serves as commissioner for District 1 of the commission, which covers northwestern Pennsylvania and includes all counties in the 16th District.

Pastore said he sought the seat because as a businessman and sportsman he can work across the aisle and fend off partisan divisions.

“I’m concerned about partisanship in Washington and the impact it has on us,” Pastore said when asked why he was running. “I think we can do better than our current representative.”

A lawyer and businessman, Pastore earned a business degree from Indiana University in Pennsylvania and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He helped develop ErieNET Internet Services in 1994 and practiced commercial law, trying cases in US District Courts throughout Pennsylvania.

This experience has helped form one of Pastore’s central causes – infrastructure, and in particular broadband infrastructure, which he sees as vital to business and education.

Infrastructure, in turn, will be needed to encourage economic development, which he sees as another important cause because it will attract businesses that provide jobs and help keep residents of northwestern Pennsylvania from leaving.

For Pastore, 62, it is a legislative priority that he feels personally. He has three adult children with his wife, Melissa, 36. None of his children live near his parents.

“They, like so many others in the region, left to seek jobs elsewhere,” Pastore said.

Pastore said that, if elected, he can help grow those jobs through next-gen ventures, like the digital jobs he created in the early days of the internet.

“I see opportunities in the clean energy segment,” he said. “These jobs are being created and we need to bring them to this region.”

When asked what his top priority was, Pastore cited inflation, which hit 40-year highs in 2021.

“It has the most immediate impact on the people of the district,” he said.

If elected, Pastore said he will pursue fair trade agreements with other countries, as part of a campaign to keep American jobs in the United States.


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