Democrats honor one of their own

Franklin County members upbeat about upcoming election

Franklin County members upbeat about upcoming election

February 11, 2008|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Franklin County Democratic Party holds a Jefferson-Jackson dinner every year as a way to remember the founders of the Democratic Party - Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.

This year's dinner, which was Thursday, was especially important because it served as a way to support Democrats running for office in the upcoming elections and to honor former Franklin County Commissioner Cheryl Plummer.

"For Jefferson-Jackson, we're focusing on candidates and local folks," said Beth Shupp-George, chairwoman of the Franklin County Democratic Party. "The main purpose of tonight is recognizing Cheryl Plummer."

The dinner also was a chance for candidates to circulate their petitions, meet activists for the party and raise funds for the Franklin County Democratic Party.


Among those in attendance were Neil Clifford of New Oxford, Pa., who is running for both the 33rd District Senate and state House seats; John Cordisco, candidate for state treasurer; and representatives for Jack Wagner, Pennsylvania auditor general, Tony Barr, candidate for Congress, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"I think that folks are ready to vote for Democrats at all levels," Shupp-George said. "I think in general, the Democratic Party is poised to do very well in November."

"The stakes are just too right for a Democrat not to be elected," Chambersburg Mayor Pete Lagiovane said to those at the dinner.

Clifford, 46, said he is hoping to receive enough signatures to run for state senator. He believes his best quality as a candidate is that he is a blue-collar worker.

"If I could do just one thing, it would be to help the working people with jobs, education and the environment," Clifford said. "I feel the county needs a good candidate so there's no empty ballot."

Tony Barr's wife, Liz, attended the dinner to represent him. Tony Barr, 38, of Blair County, Pa., is a candidate for the 9th Congressional District. He campaigned unsuccessfully in 2006 because he started his campaign late, Liz Barr said.

"We built the campaign with small budgets and old-fashioned campaign techniques," Liz Barr said. "What we've been saying all along is our (current) congressman does not represent the needs of the citizens of the 9th District."

Plummer received plaques and recognition from Shupp-George, Wagner's office, Franklin County Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski, Missy Stehr-Wood, state Democratic Party coordinator for central Pennsylvania and others.

"I think this is one of the few times in my political career that I've been speechless," Plummer said. "Most of the people in this room have been true friends from the time I was in public office."

Democratic Party representatives said at the dinner that they began raising funds for a new headquarters on Jan. 26. The party would like to be in the new headquarters by this spring, Shupp-George said. The first $1,500 came from Gov. Edward G. Rendell during the summer and the party has raised at least $1,500 since Jan. 26, Shupp-George said.

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