Door-to-door key to judicial campaigns

May 20, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Residents in Franklin and Fulton counties have no doubt grown accustomed to seeing Shawn Meyers and Angela Krom's faces, whether on billboards, campaign yard signs, television ads or their doorstep.

Now, most people probably hope they'll never see those faces again, at least in a professional capacity -- the pair are set to become the two counties' newest judges.

Twenty-four percent of voters went to the polls Tuesday in Franklin and Fulton counties, which comprise the 39th District of the Court of Common Pleas. The top two vote-getters from both the Democratic and Republican ballots proceed to the Nov. 3 municipal election, but both parties selected Meyers and Krom from the field of four candidates.

Krom secured 3,166 votes from Democrats, and Meyers had 2,889, according to complete, but unofficial results from the Franklin and Fulton counties election boards.


Meyers garnered 6,875 votes from Republicans and easily secured that party's nomination. The GOP race was tight, though, between Krom and candidate Tim Wilmot. Krom fell short by 49 votes in Franklin County, but voters in Fulton County put her in the lead by 90 votes.

The 90-vote margin came in a race in which Republicans cast 22,724 votes.

"If you had told me it would come down to Fulton County, I never would've believed you," one Franklin County election official said while organizing results late Tuesday night.

Krom said she knocked on doors, attended events and purchased billboard space in Fulton County.

"I feel like I made some key contacts with Fulton County residents," Krom said, saying those supporters helped to promote her campaign.

Meyers, who led Fulton County heartily in GOP votes, said he believes he benefited by family contacts there and the proximity of his 14-year law practice in Mercersburg, Pa.

"I think another thing is I did door-to-door, going as far as to visit Buck Valley. ... Individuals experience the same issues, and justice is uniform across the two counties," Meyers said.

As the campaign started to gain momentum, Krom said she realized she needed to meet as many people in their homes as possible. Several people commented on the in-home visit when they saw her again at the polls, she said.

"The door-to-door campaign was so important. We put a lot of time and effort into doing that," Krom said.

Meyers, Franklin County's solicitor, said he feels his breadth of experience, community service and conservative judicial philosophy resonated with voters.

"I consider it an honor to become a judge in the Court of Common Pleas. I'm very grateful to the voters," said Meyers, who said he's especially touched that voters expressed confidence in him for the 10-year term.

Krom, a Franklin County assistant district attorney, said voters indicated they have high expectations, which she promised to meet while "doing the right thing for the right reasons."

"I feel blessed and grateful to have their support, and certainly humbled," she said.

What's next

The Franklin County Election Board has a few provisional ballots and absentee ballots left to count from Tuesday's races. Also, its review of write-in votes will begin Friday. Officials said the results might not be announced until next week.

Several candidates who lost Tuesday could win on the opposite side of the ballot. A Republican candidate, for instance, in a race in which no one filed in the opposite party could get on the ballot for the general election if they accumulate the most write-ins on the Democratic side.

This is the case in several races, including supervisor contests in Antrim, Lurgan, Greene, Hamilton, Letterkenny, Metal and Washington townships.

Also, no one ran on either ballot for dozens of positions throughout Franklin and Fulton counties.

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