While many candidates are on the campaign trail in anticipation of the general election in November, one local attorney is doing his own campaigning — for appointment to the position of judge of the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas.
Meadville attorney Chris Youngs has submitted a letter of interest to Sen. Michele Brooks, asking to be considered for the appointment. The appointment would be to fill the position of Crawford County President Judge Anthony Vardaro, who announced earlier this year that he will retire in January 2020. That means there will be a vacancy until January 2022, which is when Vardaro's term expires.
The governor makes the appointment, but it must be confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the Senate.
Youngs is a Democrat — as is Judge Vardaro, so the natural inclination is to have a Democrat appointed — particularly in view of the fact the Democrats hold the office of governor now. However, the Senate is controlled by the Republicans, so Youngs knows he will need bipartisan support.
He is seeking local bipartisan support for the nomination as well. Currently, no other attorney (Democrat or Republican) has voiced an interest in the position — at least publicly.
In his letter to Brooks, Youngs cites his more than 35 years legal experience in the county as well as noting that if appointed, he would not seek election to the position when his term expires.
Youngs notes among his legal experience is when he successfully defended the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park in a lawsuit against the former owner Gary Harris. Youngs also cited his many community activities as assets he would take to the bench.
Although Judge Vardaro has publicly said he will retire, the vacancy won't occur until after he submits his official resignation.
Some reports are being heard that the state may leave the position vacant for two years — a position Youngs notes would not be good for those involved in the legal system to ensure defendants' cases are heard in a timely manner.
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Daniel Smith Jr. has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the 16th Congressional District next year. If he were successful to win his party nomination, he likely would face incumbent Mike Kelly.
Smith was previously unsuccessful in his bid for Congress against Daryl Metcalfe in Butler County.
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The candidates are out in the county seeking votes as they attend various festivals and events and march in parades — a long-time tradition in the county.
The two candidates for sheriff are already campaigning hard. Republican Dave Powers and Democratic nominee Neil Fratus both have websites and both have links where people may make donations to their campaigns.
Fratus, who was unsuccessful in his bid for the GOP nomination but won a write-in nomination for the Democratic nomination, has a new campaign manager — Brian Cagle. His former manager, David Kennedy, resigned as a member of the Republican Executive Committee and can't be a manager for a Democratic candidate!
Cagle is an attorney with the law firm of Pepicelli, Youngs and Youngs.
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Although not too many candidates do write-in campaigns in the fall, Karen Haun is going to try again to win the position of county prothonotary, challenging incumbent Emmy Arnett.
Haun sought the Democratic nomination in the spring but didn't get enough write-in votes to be on the ballot. She will now do a write-in campaign this fall.
In the spring, write-in candidates must get the same number of votes as needed when candidates petition to be on the ballot. In the fall, write-in candidates need only get one more than anybody else on the ballot — be the name on the ballot or other write-in candidates.
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The fall election ballot will include many candidates at the local, school board, city and county levels as well as candidates for the state courts.
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Visitors at Linesville Borough Council meetings will notice a new clock on the wall. Several months ago, council members adjusted the clock, as it was a few minutes slow.
The end result was it stopped altogether! The new clock sports a centerpiece resembling the state emblem.
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Some of the Meadville streets will soon have some new markings. City Council approved painting some street crossings with a zipper — representing the long history of Talon Inc. — maker of the zipper — in the city. It also is designed to support the principle of "unity" in the city.
Jane Smith is a retired Meadville Tribune reporter who specialized in covering government and politics.