Based on social media posts and other reports, there appears to be some dissension in both the Crawford County Republican and the Crawford County Democratic committees as the May 18 primary gets closer.

The Crawford County Republican Committee has had a Facebook page for several years. Now there is a Eastern Crawford County Republican Party page as well — with posts promoting Roan Hunter for clerk of courts, challenging incumbent Patricia Wetherbee.

At the same time, there appears to be two divisions on the Democratic ticket as three candidates are running as a team — as opposed to those running as individuals.

The Democratic Committee did not hold its annual spring breakfast this year — apparently because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the GOP Committee is planning its annual spring dinner on May 8 — with limited seating. It will be at The Country Club this year.

• • •

Past tradition has been the Republicans hold a dinner in the spring and a less formal event with an auction in the fall. The Democrats hold an informal breakfast in the spring and its big fall dinner in October.

• • •

Will Crawford County's District Attorney Francis Schultz be appointed Crawford County judge after the May primary?

Schultz is the sole candidate for judge to succeed Anthony Vardaro, who retired last year. Schultz filed on both the Republican and Democratic party ballots and is the only candidate. Barring some unforeseen happening, he would be nominated on both party tickets for the fall.

If you remember when Judge Mark Stevens ran in 2009, he, too, was the only candidate on both tickets and won the primary. He then was appointed to the office by Gov. Ed Rendell and sworn in that summer. He subsequently was elected to a full 10-year term that November and was retained in 2020. He succeeded Judge Gordon Miller, who retired before the expiration of his term.

In the meantime, the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Vardaro has been left unfilled and senior judges from other counties have been serving as apparently Gov. Tom Wolf had no desire to appoint a successor.

Thus history could repeat itself and Crawford County could have a new judge this summer.

At the same time, President Judge John Spataro is seeking retention for another 10-year term. At his last election, Spataro was retained with 83.5 percent of the vote.

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With a little more than six weeks until the May 18 primary, it's a sure bet that after Easter the campaigns will probably pick up the pace. For those wishing to vote in the primary or who may want to change party registration, they have until May 3 this year.

In the past, it was 30 days before the election, but that was changed by the state and now people have up to 15 days prior to the election.

It's an easy process and can be done in various ways so people should have no reason to wait if they are serious about wanting to vote.

This year, there will be several ballot questions to be considered, so people who register with a party other than the Democratic or Republican parties, or register no-party, can vote only on the questions.

But, they must be registered to do that.

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People who may wish to work at the polls (as a paid employee) can call the Office of Voter Services to learn more about what is needed and submit their name for consideration.

You must be a registered voter.

The main thing is the hours are from 6:30 a.m. until about 8:30 p.m. (or however long it takes to get the polls closed.)

It's a long day, but it's part of the election process and poll workers are vital to the process.

In addition to doing a public service, it is a great educational experience.

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

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