Friday, May 14, 2010

Primary Colors

On Tuesday, May 18, Pennsylvania gets to make its contribution to this year's big political litmus test, otherwise known as the primary election. I for one cannot wait to see how our  most hotly contested race turns out. Will Arlen Specter join Utah's former 3-term Republican senator Bob Bennett in the unemployed-politican line, along with recently dispatched 28-year Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia?  Or will he survive the spring to advance to the next round, the general election in November, where strong Republican candidate Pat Toomey, the guy who chased Specter out of the Republican party in the first place, awaits?

Today's polls suggest the race is too close to call, with Joe Sestak making a late rally to pull up even with the venerable former Republican senator Specter.  I for one kind of hope Specter makes it through the primary if for no other reason than so his former constituency, the Republicans in this part of the state, can have the privilege of properly send him packing after the betrayal of his defection to the Democrats.

Along with all the gubernatorial ousters of outright liberals or not-conservative-enough conservatives last year, and Scott Brown's unpredictable victory to the Senate in Massachusetts, all bets are off this year.  Anti-establishment and anti-incumbent fever is indeed raging. I'm hearing it loud and clear when I'm knocking on doors in my own race for Republican committee here in the Trooper area. The tea party candidate for governor, Sam Rohrer, has a respectable following, and I know a number of people who will vote for him over the endorsed Tom Corbett. 

But that's on the state and national level.  There are also local races, some contested, for Republican committee people. I don't believe any of the Democrat local committee races are contested.

If you live in Trooper (2-1, 2-3), Audubon (3-3) or Collegeville (1-1) you have a choice as to whom your local Republican party representatives will be. The county's party bylaws were changed in 2009 so that voters no longer have to vote for a committeeMAN and a committeeWOMAN. You can vote for any two candidates - two men, two women, or one of each. This will eliminate the infrequent and somewhat comical situation that sometimes occurred where a man would run as a committeewoman.

The other change was that the term of office was changed from two years to four years. So, choose carefully, because whomever you vote for now as your local party grassroots folks will be around for the next presidential election.

And, those of you in  3-3 have a new (temporary) polling place. Instead of voting at Arcola Middle School, you'll be voting at Valley View Church.

I have to say, considering how many candidates for everything there are right now (something like a dozen for Lt. Governor alone) I'm surprised there aren't more campaign yard signs out by now. Even the amount of campaign mail seems to be lighter (I'm not complaining, and now that I said this, I'll probably get an avalanche tomorrow).  As for me, I decided not to get a sign war going in my own district, and just put them out on the perimeter of my district. I mean, nobody really wants yard signs, right?

Whatever your party, and whoever your candidates are, assuming you're registered in the party in which you want to vote, be sure you get up off your duff and come out and vote. The weatherman is calling for rain on Tuesday, but it only takes a few minutes. And, you're seeing what all this voter apathy is getting us, so I think if you want to have the right to complain, you should at least try to make a difference by putting your two cents in the ballot box.

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