Monday, May 19, 2008

McCracken for Congress -- Weekly Progress Report -- May 19, 2008

May has been a busy month and it is more than half over. I have a few important things to announce this week.

1. CHANGES IN THE CAMPAIGN ORGANIZATION -- We are going to make several important changes to the campaign organization this week. These moves will bring in some new people with important knowledge, experience and expertise to the campaign and will change the roles of some people already involved with the campaign.

Henry Guthrie of DuBois will be moving from the position of Vice Chairman to Chairman of the McCracken for Congress committee. Henry and his wife Molly have been very involved with the campaign since we began in January and I have great confidence in his political knowledge and abilities. I worked closely with Henry in 2007 when we were both candidates for office at the county level.

Victor M. Ordonez will continue in the position of Media & Policy Advisor. Victor brings years of political experience working in campaigns. His prior positions have included working for Rep. Joseph Sestak (PA-07) and helping to get Senator Robert Casey Jr. elected in 2006.

Keith Bierly is coming on board as a campaign advisor. Keith brings a wealth of knowledge to the campaign serving 12 years as a District Justice and 16 years as Centre County Commissioner. Keith will be working on specific areas of the campaign to coordinate the efforts of the entire committee and we're pleased to have him take this official role with the campaign.

Tim Fannin from the accounting firm of Catalano, Case, Catalano and Fannin will be taking over as Treasurer. Running for federal office with all the required FEC and IRS filings takes a great deal knowledge. Tim is a highly experienced accountant in the Clearfield area who has served on many boards and organizations including the Clearfield County Industrial Development Authority and the Clearfield County Economic Development Corporation among others. With the appointment of Tim Fannin as Treasurer we are moving Milt Weisman to the position of Assistant Treasurer where he will remain involved with the campaign.

Recognizing the key role that Centre County plays in the 5th Congressional District, it is important to name someone to the position of Centre County Coordinator. I didn't have to look far to find someone with the credentials I was looking for. Tim Wilson shares a passion for many of the same issues I'm stressing in the race for US Congress. Tim is interested in alternative fuels, environmental issues, fiscal responsibility, health care reform, farmland preservation, support for public education and many of the other issues the McCracken for Congress campaign is all about. An additional benefit of having Tim on our committee is, while he is now living in Centre County, he is originally from Jefferson County and will be able to help the campaign in those areas of the district also.

We've also invited Andrea Smith of Glen Richey to take over the role of Secretary of the committee. Andrea has worked for many years as a legal secretary in the Clearfield area and has supported and assisted me in my past campaigns for school director and county commissioner.

We're excited to have these people on board with the campaign. We also have a number of people from every county in the 5th district offer to work for the campaign. The solid organization we are putting together will help us run strong in every county in the 5th district.

2: CONGRATULATIONS TO TRAVIS CHILDERS -- This past Tuesday Democrat Travis Childers was elected to the US Congress in a special election to fill a vacant seat in the state of Mississippi. This was the third Democratic victory so far in 2008 in special elections. The 3 seats in Mississippi, Louisiana and Illinois (the seat of former Speaker Dennis Hastert) were all considered to be traditional Republican seats and have been captured by Democrats. It will take a great deal of hard work but we can accomplish this same feat here in the 5th Congressional District in November.

3: ARMED FORCES AWARENESS DAY -- On Saturday, I took part in the Armed Forces Awareness Day ceremony in Clearfield. This is the 5th consecutive year that I've participated as a county commissioner in this moving ceremony. It is so important that we take time to recognize the commitment of the men and women who are serving and who have served in our armed forces.

Candidate McCracken addresses the crowd at Armed Forces Day

Take the time to thank veterans like Maj. Miller, who has served two tours in Iraq.

The ceremony in Clearfield is always so special with emotional speeches, patriotic songs by the DuBois American Legion Band and special recognition of the veterans and active servicemen in attendance. This year, there were several very special guests including 2 Gold Star Mothers and a Clearfield County veteran who is a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

4: This coming week, Kelly, Amanda and I will be spending Saturday in Tioga County to attend the Blossburg Coal Festival and participate in the parade. We also will be traveling later in the day to Wellsboro to meet with people who are interested in helping with the campaign. If anyone from Tioga County would like to meet with us in Wellsboro, please email the campaign at

Mark McCracken
Your Candidate for Congress

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