Warminster Candidates Ramp Up Campaigns as Election Day Gets Closer
Both parties strive to overcome the normally low voter turnouts during off-year elections.
It's hard to ignore the increasing number of roadside signs along the major roads throughout Warminster as the Nov. 8 Election Day looms in the near future.
For candidates on both sides of the local ticket, the challenge with less than a month to go is simply raising awareness of the campaign. Voter turnout is notoriously lower during years without any major national campaigns or referendums to draw out the electorate.
"We've been walking the neighborhoods and knocking on doors," said Mark McKee, Republican candidate for the Warminster Board of Supervisors, "and we've met a lot of people who don't even know there's a race."
McKee will face Democratic candidate Jim Scott for the chance to fill the seat being vacated by outgoing supervisor Gail Johnson. If McKee wins, he will join fellow Republicans Leo Quinn and Tom Panzer on the board and shift the party majority, leaving Democrats Ellen Jarvis and Frank Feinberg as the minority.
To assist their get out the vote efforts, the Warminster Republican Committee has set up a temporary campaign office in the space formerly occupied by Jacket Video on Street Road. The office does not have regular business hours, but prospective volunteers can usually find someone to talk to Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons.
"We meet up here at 10 a.m. Saturday and about 1 p.m. Sunday, then head out to canvass the neighborhoods," said McKee. "It's a great way to promote the team effort and create a sense of camaraderie."
Scott and the rest of the Warminster Democratic Committee decided against leasing out office space and instead use volunteers' homes scattered around the township as staging areas before canvassing.
"We just felt our money could be better spent on campaign materials," said Scott. "Of course, we have a bunch of garages filled with signs."
As the candidates tour the Warminster neighborhoods, they both hear similar concerns about familiar topics: taxes and stormwater.
"Those have definitely been the top two issues," said Scott. "We've had very positive receptions from the residents. They don't care about whether you're a Democrat or Republican, they just want somebody in there with experience, leadership and a real understanding of their concerns."
Scott feels his service on the township's zoning board, environmental advisory council and finance & budget advisory board leave him beter equipped to tackle those issues on day one.
"There needs to be someone in there that is already familiar with the budget process," said Scott. "There can't really be time for a learning curve and an education period where you are led by the other supervisors. It's not rocket science, but it gets pretty complicated."
While Scott has been more behind-the-scenes with his public service, McKee's participation on the parks, recreation and conservation board and the Tricentennial commitee has increased his visibility around the township, including the construction of Safetytown and the organizing of last month's Tricentennial Day.
The rest of the local races include:
Centennial School Board:
Region 2 (two seats)
(I) Andrew Pollock (running under Democrat and Republican affiliations)
Steven Adams (R)
Mark Greiner (D)
Region 3 (one seat)
Charles Kleinschmidt (unopposed)
Magisterial District Judge:
(I) Daniel Finello (unopposed)
(I) Thomas Davis (R)
Jim Brickman (D)