Director of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll
Berwood Yost is the Director of the Center for Opinion Research and the Director of the Floyd Institute for Public Policy at Franklin & Marshall College. He is also the Director of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, which tracks public attitudes toward public policy issues and political campaigns. His scholarship is multidisciplinary and has appeared in journals that include the fields of criminology, human rights, political science, psychology, and public health.
Mr. Yost frequently writes about the results and implications of political campaigns in the state and has closely followed changes within the state’s electorate. His recent work has attempted to identify ideological and partisan patterns among the state’s voters and his forthcoming book, a co-edited volume from Temple University Press, “Are All Politics Nationalized? Evidence from the 2020 Pennsylvania Campaigns,” explores how political campaigns communicate with voters about the issues that are most important to them.
Mr. Yost also began publishing a newsletter about state politics in February of 2021 and regularly writes about state politics, polling, and public policy for a general audience.
National Political Columnist and Reporter
Salena Zito joined the Washington Examiner in 2016 as a Western Pennsylvania-based columnist and reporter covering national politics and culture.
She is also a weekly columnist at the New York Post, contributes to The Wall Street Journal and co-authored “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics” with Brad Todd.
In 2018, she won first place for her columns in the Associated Press for her coverage of American politics, and she also won the Barbara Olson award for excellence and independence in journalism.
Rep. Kerry Benninghoff
PA House Majority Leader
Representing the 171st legislative district located in Centre and Mifflin Counties, Kerry Benninghoff was elected by his colleagues in June 2020 to serve as Majority Leader.
Prior to that he served on the Leadership team as Majority Whip and for two terms as the House Majority Policy Committee chairman. He also previously served as chairman of the House Majority Finance and State Government committees. He is the founder and former chairman of the bipartisan Cancer Caucus.
Prior to being elected to represent the 171st district, Rep. Benninghoff worked in construction, cared for patients as a hospital orderly and served Centre County for two terms as county coroner.
He is a graduate of State College Area High School and attended Pennsylvania State University. He is a graduate of the Certified Coroners Training Program conducted in Hershey by the state of Pennsylvania.
He resides in Bellefonte and is the father of five children – Michael, Heather, Amy, Kelley and Ryleigh.
Sen. Kim Ward
PA Senate Majority Leader
Senator Kim Ward currently serves as the Senate Majority Leader for the Senate of Pennsylvania. She is the first woman in the history of the Pennsylvania Legislature to serve as Majority Leader in either the Pennsylvania House or Senate.
In 2008, Senator Ward won the Pennsylvania 39th Senatorial District seat and was the first woman ever elected to that seat. She was re-elected in 2012 & 2016, and most recently in 2020.
During the 2019-2020 legislative session, she was appointed to the Majority Caucus Administrator position in the Senate. Prior to her election to the Senate, she served as a Westmoreland County Commissioner in 2008, and on the Hempfield Township Board of Supervisors from 2002-2007 where she was Chairwoman of the Board for the final three years.
Most recently, Senator Ward has had several of bills she introduced to address the COVID-19 pandemic pass the General Assembly. Signed into law was her legislation requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Health to share the location of COVID-19 positive cases with emergency responders so they can better protect themselves and their communities. Senator Ward’s amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution, prohibiting the Governor from extending an emergency declaration beyond 21 days without legislative approval, received the first of two legislative approvals needed before it can be placed on the ballot at the next election.
She is a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Hempfield Township, the Italian Sons and Daughters of America and the NRA.