Elk Dems setup headquarters, grand opening/food drive
ST. MARYS - The Elk County Democratic Committee announced this week that they will be keeping their 2022 Headquarters in downtown St. Marys open for the 2023 election cycle.
This will be the first time the committee has had the headquarters open in an off-year election season. The committee is marking this by hosting a 2023 Grand Opening at their headquarters at 210 Brusselles St. on Friday, February 17 starting at 6 p.m. The event is open to Democrats from Elk and surrounding counties.
According to Elk County Democratic Committee Chairman Rich Schweikart, the committee felt it was important to have a continued presence in the community.
“A lot of folks lose interest in the years when there are not statewide races, governor or president. So being out there and having a presence in an odd year when there are local races is important,” Schweikart said.
He mentioned the importance of the Elk County Commissioners race along with statewide races for judges, which will be equally important to both parties.
In Elk County, all county row offices are on the ballot in 2023 along with numerous township, city, borough and school director (school board) positions.
Along with local races, there are also four statewide offices on the ballot – one vacancy on Commonwealth Court, two vacancies on Superior
Court and one vacancy on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
“The four statewide judge races are super important knowing since it’s the judiciary that checks on the other branches of government. Pennsylvania is one of few states that actually elects their judges, so both local and state races are critical this year,” Schweikart said.
The committee has petition forms for Elk, Cameron, Jefferson and Forest County Democrats to sign for several of the Democratic statewide candidates and they will be available to sign at the Grand Opening.
The committee will have light refreshments and drinks, and encourage all local and statewide Democratic candidates to join them. This will kick off the first weekend of the three-week petition signing period so it is an opportunity to stop in, meet candidates, and sign petitions to be included on the May primary ballot.
Although the Elk County Democratic Committee Headquarters has previously been located on Erie Avenue in other election years, Schweikart added the committee feels as if keeping the headquarters in the same location on Brusselles as it was for last year's elections will give voters a familiar location to stop by.
“It gives place to have meetings and plan dinners and do everything else that we do. Being in the same spot, people get use to that,” he said. “People know that's where you can go and get yard signs and sign petitions in the spring. So we're looking forward to keep that (the office) well into the future.”
Following the grand opening, the headquarters will be staffed several other days throughout the end of the petition signing period, which ends Tuesday, March 7 to allow Democrats that cannot make the February 17 event to sign petitions.
In addition, the committee is hosting a food drive during the February 17 event and will be accepting non-perishable items. They did this in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic and collected hundreds of pounds of food to help local families. They hope to exceed that amount this year.
Since the food drive was successful in the past, Schweikart said the committee decided to continue the tradition to help those in the community.
“We're not a non-profit, but we still want to do things that help the community we live in,” he said.
For more information about the committee, questions about running for office, or to find out when the headquarters is open, visit their Facebook Page www.facebook.com/ ElkCoDC, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text (814) 636-1030.