Wednesday, April 16, 2008

McCracken for Congress – Progress Report – 4/13/08

6 Counties in 1 Week:

Monday -- Tioga County: I started out the week with a day long visit to Tioga County with the day’s agenda coordinated by Emily Rizzo. Emily took me around to several communities in Tioga County including Wellsboro, which included a visit to the Tioga County Courthouse to meet the elected officials, and to Mansfield where we stopped to meet with the staff at the Obama headquarters. I found Tioga County to be one of the most scenic counties, not only in the 5th district, but in the entire state. The day ended with a candidate forum that was attended by 10 of the 12 candidates (the 2 missing candidates had people stand in for them) for the 5th district seat. For the first time at one of these multi-candidate events, I drew the 12th position so I had to sit and wait as every other candidate did their 10 minute presentations. Here is what the Elmira Star Gazette wrote about my presentation:

"After sitting silent for two hours, Democrat Mark McCracken, a Clearfield County commissioner, finally got his turn to speak. He said the nation's $9.4 trillion debt was tragic and that his priority would be getting the federal budget back in order. "We're in a deeper hole than we have ever been in before," he said. "This is a threat to our national security. Foreign interests could pull the rug out from under us at any time."

"Congress also needs to address energy costs and supplies...We missed a wake-up call in the '70s," he said. "We really need to get an energy plan in place. We need to be looking at alternate energy sources. This is our second wake-up call. We'd better take it."

Tuesday -- Clarion County: Tuesday evening, Kelly and I made the trip to Clarion County for the Spring Democratic Banquet. Like Democrats all over the region, the folks in Clarion are excited about our party’s prospects for 2008.

Speaking to the Democratic crowd in Clarion

Wednesday -- Elk and Mifflin Counties: Wednesday morning brought a trip to St.Marys for a candidate forum in front of members of the Allegheny Hardwoods Utilization Group AHUG. The members of AHUG quizzed 11 of the 12 candidates on where we stood in regards to the lumber and timber business that is so important to the economy in north central Pennsylvania.

Wednesday evening brought a trip to Lewistown to appear at a candidate forum sponsored by the Mifflin County Farm Bureau. It was decided that the 3 Democratic candidates would have our own portion of the forum since the Republican candidates would be arriving later due to party event also being held in Lewistown.

Thursday -- Clearfield County: The DuBois Democratic Committee sponsored a forum for the 3 Democratic candidates at the Penn State DuBois Campus. PCN was on hand to record the forum which they will run several times over the next few days. I have to congratulate the people who put the event together. It was a unique format which included the standard Q & A, followed by a 1 on 1 session with a moderator, then questions from the audience and ended with 5 minute closing statements from each candidate. The format was different from any event we’ve participated in thus far and was a good challenge for me personally and I think for the other 2 candidates as well.

Talking with citizens throughout the 5th District is important!

Friday -- Centre County: Friday evening Kelly and I traveled to the Tussey Mountain Lodge to attend the Centre County Democrats Spring Banquet. This event turned into a celebration of the extraordinary gains in voter registration the Democratic party has made in central Pennsylvania. Centre County led the way with the excitement for Sen. Obama’s candidacy leading to a huge wave of young people registering Democratic. But, the excitement doesn’t end in Centre County as my home county of Clearfield and Rick Vilello’s home county of Clinton also turned “BLUE”! Hmmm, with everything going the Democratic way, maybe a Democrat can win the 5th district after all.

Saturday -- Clearfield County: I spent the day working on behalf of the Obama campaign doing some door to door canvassing at the invitation of Jody Grumblatt. Jody has been putting her heart and soul into campaigning on behalf of Sen. Obama. She was even out on the Clearfield Courthouse Plaza on a cold day a few weeks back registering voters.

Sunday -- Clearfield County: Kelly, Amanda and I went to the DuBois Democratic Committee spaghetti dinner. Many campaigns were on hand for this well attended annual event. Auditor General Jack Wagner was the main speaker with Jay Paterno on hand to speak for the Obama campaign. Rick Vilello and I each spoke to the crowd to make our case for votes on April 22nd.

We had an amazing turnout in Clearfield County - yet another BLUE county!

Maybe the Wrong McCracken in on the Ballot: Kelly had a very lucky week. She won 4 tickets to a Pirate baseball game at the Clarion County Dinner and really cleaned up at the spaghetti dinner in DuBois winning 2 gift baskets. Amanda was really excited with the one gift basket that had a porcelain doll that she really liked.

...and a doll for Amanda.

We’re heading into the last full week of the primary campaign and there are a lot of miles left to travel. Please be sure to remind your family and friends to vote on April 22nd. Of course, a mention to vote for the 5th district candidate listed in the #1 position on the ballot would be appreciated.

Mark B. McCracken
Your Candidate for Congress

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