Candidate Profile
Michael Heckmann

Republican , Pennsylvania


Michael Heckmann
State Rep., Dist. 28

Panel Rating

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Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim, unless the candidate requests a typo change or we remove inappropriate language.

Right to Life

Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Strongly Agree

Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, should not receive taxpayer funds or grants from federal, state, or local governments.

Strongly Agree

I support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires health care providers to provide life-saving treatment for infants who survive an attempted abortion.

Strongly Agree

Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed?

Elective abortion is always morally wrong. I believe that if the life of the mother is at risk, and it is not possible for both her and the unborn child to survive, then abortion should be allowed. I recognize that other situations may be excepted from abortion restrictions in order to gain majority support for those restrictions, and in those cases I would compromise in support of those exceptions.


It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has a livable income.


Free enterprise and the right to private property are essential elements of a productive economic system.

Strongly Agree

What government spending would you reduce in order to balance the budget?

On the Pennsylvania state level, our budget is "balanced," as it is required to be, but there are ways that we should seek to become a lower tax state. That will not be a short process- and the payments towards our public pension debts will prevent us from lowering any taxes for the foreseeable future. But, knowing that we have that enormous obligation to continue to resolve, we should not be increasing spending elsewhere- and if taxes are raised, they should be put towards that debt.

Religious Liberty

Governments should not discriminate against individuals, organizations or small businesses because of their belief that marriage is only a union of one man and one woman.

Strongly Agree

Governments should define marriage as between one man and one woman; no other definition of marriage should be legalized or supported with taxpayer or public funds.

No Answer

Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.

Strongly Agree

I promise to protect the freedom of Christians to share the Gospel and to practice Biblical principles.


What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?

That the state shall establish no official church, and that it won't punish or reward any citizen for the particular faith that they follow- or don't follow. It does not however mean "freedom from religion," and in particular religious symbols and pieces of our cultural heritage should not be scrubbed from public places and buildings because of hecklers' lawsuits. Most importantly, it means that public policies cannot burden an individual's exercise of their religious faith- even if that exercise does not fit the prevailing culture of the day.


It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has health insurance.


How would you promote healthcare coverage that is adequate, affordable and accessible for all?

I believe that some level of healthcare treatment can and should be provided to all Americans unable to afford regular insurance- but that this should be done without disrupting the current healthcare system and insurance that most Americans want to keep. Treatment in this affordable system would include drugs that have become generic, treatments that are generally available- not experimental or cutting edge- and a focus on preventative medicine.

National Security

The best way to maintain peace is through a strong military.

Strongly Agree


I am in favor of construction of a wall and other necessary infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States.


State and federal funds should be denied to any public or private entity, including but not limited to sanctuary cities, that are not in compliance with immigration laws.


Who should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. and under what circumstances?

Anyone (barring obvious criminal or security risks) should be allowed- but nobody is entitled to, and in particular nobody should skip the line because they have extended family already here. We know there will always be more people who want to immigrate than we have the capacity to allow in and integrate each year; we should have a robust and even-tempered discussion as to how many immigrants we want to allow each year- and then reserve a large portion of that number of highly-skilled immigrants, and in particular graduates of American universities. Much of the remainder should be reserved for refugees from the truly oppressive and war-torn parts of our world- not economic migrants claiming to be those refugees.


Taxpayer-funded public education should be guaranteed through college.



Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.


I support adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes in non-discrimination laws.


Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

I am a practicing Catholic who strives to carry the Church's teachings in my viewpoints. Because of those teachings, I oppose abortion, the death penalty, and euthanasia, believe that our criminal justice system should focus on reformation rather than penalization, and that our leaders should strive to create a society that is just and prosperous for all of its people. I believe that marriage is a sacrament sought in each couple's own faith- defined by that faith- and that it should not be a government institution.


When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?

Somewhat Conservative

Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.

As a first-time candidate, there is nothing in the way of a public record on these positions; I hope to, in time, develop that as an elected official. For now, and in my local race, I hope that my reputation in my community and honesty in surveys like this one will reflect my positions.

What education or experience qualifies you to hold the office for which you seek election?

I have been studying public policy and economics since my time in high school. At NYU, I received degrees in International Public Policy & Economics and Middle Eastern Politics and History. The focus of my primary major included in-depth study of the political economies of the US, EU, post-Soviet Eastern Europe, and East Asia. At Vanderbilt Law School, I focused my studies on the legal regulation of new and emerging changes to our society, from technology, medicine, and demographic change. Planning ahead for these challenges will be far preferable to trying to catch up. I have most recently worked for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives- the body in which I am seeking an office- with a policy work focus on education, redistricting, and the public pension crisis. My work has provided me with both knowledge and relationships to make me an effective state representative from day one.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.


Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I would like them to know that I am very pragmatic. I trust the knowledge and advice of experts on a given issue- particularly those on which I am not deeply learned- and I would seek what seems to be the best policy for our state more earnestly than I would seek the policy that best fits into my preconceived notions before a discussion. I am always seeking to learn more and would welcome their insight and perspective on any issue that is important to them.

Judicial Philosophy

I support the use of Sharia law as a basis for legislation and judicial decisions in the United States.

Strongly Disagree

Criminal Justice

Mandatory minimum sentencing should be required and enforced for violent crimes.


2nd Amendment

Should teachers be allowed to carry guns at school?


What restrictions on gun ownership are needed to protect public safety?

I believe we need to focus on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill, and young people more prone to accidents or rash decisions.

Other Important Issues

People should be able to vote without photo identification.


I support the legalization of recreational marijuana.


The Electoral College should be abolished.

Strongly Disagree

In priority order, what three areas of legislation do you propose to author or sponsor if elected?

My first priority would be to introduce an Amendment to Pennsylvania's Constitution that preserves our prohibition on publicly funded abortions- currently threatened by a lawsuit and liberal courts. Second, I would shift payment of our teacher pension debt out of the school property tax system. Third, I would again amend Pennsylvania's Constitution to keep our Supreme Court from targeting communities like mine during redistricting, in their quest to create Democratic majorities in Harrisburg.

Is racism a threat to domestic security in the United States? Why or why not?

Yes- all types of hate are, and obviously racism is one of the oldest and most deeply-rooted. We are a stronger country when we are united, and we need to heal the divisions between different demographic groups. That involves both changing hearts and minds as well as reaffirming our commitment to assimilation- which has probably been America's greatest and most unique national asset. It also involves strengthening and expanding the private civic institutions where Americans can meet and grow close to those very different from them- it is those ties that will bring us a more unified future.


  • New York University- Stern School of Business, New York, B.S., 2013
  • Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, J.D., 2016
Work & Military
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