MEXICO, Pa. - The Juniata County Republican Committee held its annual Presidents Day dinner Monday evening at Walker Grange. After the dinner, several candidates for office at the state level spoke about what residents can do to help campaigns.
The featured speaker was Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley, who stressed the importance of simply getting on the ballot.
"The most important part of any campaign is the petitions," Cawley said. "These petitions are what gets us, as representatives, on the ballot."
Sentinel photo by LAUREN?KERSHNER
Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley speaks Monday at the Juniata County Republican Committee Presidents Day dinner about how Juniata County residents can help start campaigns.
The petitions are required by anyone who wishes to run for a governmental position, including those at the local level. Today marks the start of the campaign season, and each level requires a different number of signatures.
"For my name to once again to appear on the ballot, I need 1,000 signatures," Cawley explained. "Some of my senate counterparts, for example Jake Corman, needs 500."
Corman, who was also in attendance at the dinner, reiterated the idea of the residents helping through these petitions. Cawley also spoke about the success he and Governor Tom Corbett have accomplished while they have been in office.
"The promises that we made when we last campaigned, were delivered on," Cawley said. "We have been standing up for what is best of the state, trying to show (other leaders) what has worked for us, to see if maybe it would work for them."
Some of the things Cawley has been able to do is invest in the educational system in Pennsylvania, which includes scholarships to those who want to further their education.
"I want to continue to make it easier for our youth to learn," Cawley said. "This is what is needed to help move our state in the right direction."
Corman also said education should be one of the most important things on the agenda.
"In office, I create an environment to raise our children in," Corman said. "I think not only about my kids, but other kids throughout central Pennsylvania."
All of the speeches had a similar message, the first of which was the petitions. Cawley, Corman, and State Representative Adam Harris, all said getting on the ballot is the one of the most stressful parts of the campaign because everything rests on getting signatures from local residents. Harris said he believes after getting on the initial ballot everything else is easier.
"This first part is really out of our hands," Harris said. "We just need to make sure the signed petitions get in early enough to find potential mistakes."
The date for the petitions to be submitted is March 11, but all of them need to notarized and checked for errors. Cawley said if the errors are caught early they can be fixed, if not the signature will not count and if enough signatures are thrown out, there is the possibility of not making the ballot.
Many of the 100 in attendance took petitions for their friends and families to sign. Signatures on the petitions can be obtained only from now until March 11, and then the second phase of campaigns for the primary elections begins.