About 75 people packed the Somerset Country Club to hear what the elected officials had to say.
Kasunic used his time to talk about how much he loved serving Somerset County. Kasunic was drawn out of Somerset County during recent political map redistricting.
"A piece of me is always going to be in Somerset County," he said. "Somerset County is the crown jewel of the Laurel Highlands."
He also talked about how much he wanted to be the senator for the ribbon cutting of Route 219. He is among a group of officials who have been working to complete the highway; however, funding problems have delayed the project.
"The No. 1 economic development project in this county is 219," he said to applause. "We have to get it done."
Wozniak started by promising that in his next four years the funding to complete 219 will be secured.
"Everything's going to be fine," he said.
Everyone on the panel addressed the highway project, which was also the subject of the first question asked by an audience member. The first questioner asked whether a transportation bill would be passed and whether it would include toll credit legislation. The legislation is needed to secure $35 million in matching state funds necessary to complete Route 219.
Critz explained that in past years, when Democrats controlled the House, the Senate and the White House, legislators were unable to pass a transportation bill. He said the funding is not there for a six-year plan.
"We are very hopeful that something will transpire," he said.
One person submitted a question about a recent Supreme Court challenge to redistricting. Kasunic explained that the Senate Democrats' challenge includes the entire state.
Education was another hot topic. There were questions about education tax credits and help to train workers.
Ward said she had visited Westmoreland County Community College earlier Thursday and they are developing a program for First Energy line workers. She said there is a thought process that people need to attend a four-year college. Parents need to understand that students can attend a technical school and find a job that pays $50,000 to $60,000 a year, she said.
Reese addressed a question about whether state stores would be privatized. He said that government should not be in the business of marketing alcohol.
"You'll probably see it pushed very hard on the House floor," he said.
But Wozniak has his doubts.
"You'll see 219 completed before liquor stores are privatized," he said.
Wozniak also talked about "revenue enhancements" for transportation. He said while some ways to raise funds for transportation have been explored, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is standing his ground on his no new taxes campaign promise. He said funding is necessary to improve roads and bridges.
"Until we cave and raise revenues we are going to be stymied in Pennsylvania," he said.
Putting money toward highway infrastructure could help the state acquire the $35 million needed to finish Route 219 to Meyersdale.
Metzgar disagreed. He said that $2 billion of the $6 billion transportation budget goes to mass transit in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, where bus drivers make six-figure salaries to drive around in a half-empty bus. Also $11 billion of the budget goes to welfare, he said. He said instead of taxation the state needs to find ways to rein in spending.
"I humbly disagree," Metzgar said to Wozniak.
Energy development, eliminating the death tax, redistricting challenges, permanent state funding for Allegany College of Maryland, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, the Environmental Protection Agency and "Did Carl Metzgar get his deer?" were among other topics raised by the crowd.