The Crawford County Fair is history, but it brought some political tidbits.

The eight candidates for statewide appellate courts all visited Crawford County and participated in a judicial forum sponsored by the Crawford County Bar Association for its members. It was broadcast on Armstrong Cable so it could be available for statewide broadcast.

Four of the eight — all Democrats — visited the fair following the forum. Valerie Kean Staab, chairman of the Crawford County Democratic Committee, served as hostess for them at the fair.

She was thrilled that all visited, noting they were very enthusiastic and visited every area of the fair. She laughed she was exhausted by the end of the day because of the heat and how much time the quartet spent. It was time well spent, she said.

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Candidates seeking positions on any court are often at a disadvantage because they can't discuss how they would rule on different cases. Thus, they must get their name known, endorsements and their personal information out to potential voters.

At the forum, several noted they were raised by single mothers. Several noted they were the first generation in their families to go to college. Some talked about working multiple part-time jobs to work their way through college.

Speaking about college, another noted his child was starting college. The candidate said on his way to Meadville he left all the money he had ever saved at the college (for his son's education.)

The camaraderie between the eight was evident as they were all cordial and professional despite being opponents. One candidate told another that if she didn't win, it would be OK for the other to win, noting "you are a good person."

Another candidate showed her lighter side, recalling as a law clerk, the judge she worked for hated commas and hated the word "that" in his briefs. As a joke, the last brief she wrote for him, she included a bunch of commas and a lot of "thats."

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Ellen Aurand, a retired FFA teacher, was on the fair's 75th anniversary committee and was in charge of writing the educational information on the various Diamond Jim cutouts seen at the various departments.

The information was specific to each department and required a lot of research and work. She was thrilled on the last day of the fair when she was greeted by a friend, who complimented her on the work.

She was especially thrilled when the friend told her exactly what was written on the goat display Diamond Jim. Aurand was pleased with the report, saying she had "done my job," as an educator.

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Dean Maynard, fair board president, was pleased with the overall results of the fair.

He noted most everybody was kind.

His only complaint: "My feet hurt."

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The Republican party booth display included posters supporting Marcy Kantz as a write-in candidate for may of Meadville. One official noted a write-in campaign is difficult, but not impossible.

One example was a write-in campaign conducted several years ago by Nancy Mangilo Bittner, whose nominating petition had been challenged and was ruled not valid. She then conducted a write-in campaign to get on the ballot.

It can be done, but one official noted it not only takes a concentrated effort, but one of educating voters how to do a write-in. Often, write-ins result in candidates' names being written on the wrong line and the vote doesn't count. The new machines make it a lot easier, but still requires a conscious effort

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Names are now being heard as well for county commissioner — in 2023's election. The latest heard was Scott Schell, who currently is county coroner. One well-known Democrat also is planning a run, but isn't ready to publicly announce his candidacy.

It's a sure bet that more names will be forthcoming before long.

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And, perhaps one of the most unusual issue facing city voters in the future is whether to change its form of government to that of a home rule government. That issue should be explored in the near future.

Jane Smith is a retired Meadville Tribune reporter who specialized in covering government and politics.

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