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Franklin County Dems forgo picnic for Sunfest

August 20, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • The Jerry Rigged Band entertains the crowd Saturday at Sunfest 2011, a Franklin County Democratic Party event, at Roy Pitz Brewery in Chambersburg, Pa.
By Roxann Miller

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Since there are no major races in this November's election, some voters might choose to stay away from the polling places.

But Paul Politis, chairman of the Franklin County Democratic Party, said that would be a mistake.

"It's kind of an off-year. There are two statewide court candidates, a couple of county commissioners and some local races," Politis said. "But every vote counts."

"There's no such thing as an off-year for an election," said Brad Koplinski, campaign manager for Kathryn Boockvar, who is running for Commonwealth Court.

Koplinski said the Commonwealth Court currently has seven Republicans and two Democrats. Fifteen years ago, it had eight Democrats and one Republican.

With Republicans outpacing Democrats 2-1 in Franklin County, Politis said recruiting Democrats is a "long, slow process."

On Saturday, the Democratic Party held Sunfest 2011, a Democratic rally with food, beer and music, to register voters, inform community members and educate the public about local programs.

The event was held at Roy Pitz Brewery, and featured the Jerry Rigged Band of Chambersburg and the Stack O' Blues Band of Hagerstown.

Normally, the Franklin County Democratic Committee hosts a summer picnic, but Politis said the committee tried something new this year since picnic attendance was low.

In addition to the food and music, local organizations set up informational booths about a variety of topics, including health care, Planned Parenthood and others.

Sunfest was a new format for the Democrats and Shari Morgan, state committee for the Democratic Party, said she hoped to get the party's message out as well as raise money for the party.

"We want to get our message out that it's important to vote, and it's important to know the candidates," Morgan said.

She said there are more than 25,000 registered Democrats in Franklin County.

Jim and Loretta Meinck of Waynesboro, Pa., relaxed as they listened to the Jerry Rigged Band.

"We didn't come to the picnic last year, but this is nice," Loretta Meinck said.

The Meincks are Democrats.

No matter who is on the ballot, Loretta Meinck casts her vote.

"It's kind of your duty to vote," she said.

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