TUESDAY IS Election Day and parts of Northeastern Pennsylvania have the rare and wonderful opportunity to nominate a dynamic leader to represent them in Congress. Today, “In the Arena” enthusiastically endorses Matt Cartwright in the Democratic primary for the 17th Congressional District. If you are a registered Democrat and live in Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, West Pittston, Plains Township, Avoca, Dupont, Duryea, Exeter, Hughestown, Jenkins Township, Laflin, Wyoming, West Wyoming or Yatesville in Luzerne County, you're in the 17th Congressional District and can vote to nominate Cartwright for Congress on Tuesday. If you're a resident of Scranton, Carbondale, Dickson City, Dunmore, Jermyn, Jessup, Blakely, Mayfield, Moosic, Old Forge, Spring Brook, Thornhurst, certain parts of Archbald, Olyphant, Throop or Taylor in Lackawanna County, you live in the new 17th District where Democrats can take the first step in sending Matt Cartwright's strong voice, vision and values to Washington. When coupled with parts of Carbon, Monroe and Northampton counties, plus all of Schuylkill County, we find ourselves at the unintended epicenter of this year's most important congressional primary in Pennsylvania. Lately we seem to be awash in officials who labor strenuously at elevating ineffectiveness to an art form capable even of bringing about their re-elections. They and the party leaders with whom they cavort have gone out of their way to support Cartwright's opponent, who so often follows his finger headlong into every-which-way the wind blows. Cartwright's opponent, U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, voted against the 2010 health insurance reform law, its coverage of pre-existing conditions and its provision extending coverage to your son or daughter in their early 20s unable to find affordable health insurance on their own. Cartwright's opponent also voted to exempt natural gas drillers from the Safe Drinking Water Act requirement that they list those chemicals forced underground in the drilling process. This travesty, known as the “Halliburton Loophole,” is now in our national Safe Drinking Water Act. What has become of the Congress when elected representatives go out of their way to oppose common-sense insurance reforms while voting to keep under wraps the dangerous chemicals that gas drillers pump underground? Can't you just hear the crisp snap of insurance industry fingers and the crackle of chemical drillers as congressmen pop out of their seats to do their bidding? Matt Cartwright wants to put a stop to such behavior and go to Washington to re-establish a strong voice for Northeastern Pennsylvania within the halls of Congress. It is a daunting task for sure, but Cartwright possesses the necessary skill set to lead the way and make a difference. A magna cum laude graduate of the prestigious Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., Cartwright is not afraid to roll up his sleeves, tackle the problems of beleaguered middle-class families and work to improve our economy. He is a Law Review graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, active in his community, a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, a man eager to take his talents and values to Washington and chip away at its debilitating gridlock. Cartwright and his wife, Marion, have two sons and live in Moosic on the Luzerne-Lackawanna county line. When the new 17th Congressional District was drawn by the cartographers in Harrisburg so as to weaken Northeastern Pennsylvania by dividing our population centers and diluting our influence, Matt Cartwright leaped into the race to unite and strengthen the entire region. Throughout this campaign Matt Cartwright has demonstrated an extraordinary energy, intelligence and the natural leadership that the job requires and that the Pennsylvania congressional delegation so desperately needs. Cartwright has all the tools. He is the most promising congressional candidate I've seen from this region in more than three decades. On Tuesday vote Matt Cartwright for Congress …. and for Northeastern Pennsylvania.