Erie mayoral candidates feature unique campaign headquarters
John Persinger is taking his campaign on the road, whether it's at community events or just in the community. The 36-year-old lawyer and Republican running for Erie mayor has converted a 32-feet-long recreational vehicle into a mobile campaign headquarters, what he calls the "first of its kind" in Erie County.
ERIE, Pa. - John Persinger is taking his campaign on the road, whether it's at community events or just in the community. The 36-year-old lawyer and Republican running for Erie mayor has converted a 32-feet-long recreational vehicle into a mobile campaign headquarters, what he calls the "first of its kind" in Erie County.
"This allows us to go wherever the voters are at any time of the day at any day of the week," said Persinger, a Harvard graduate who works at MacDonald-Illig law firm in Erie.
Persinger invited Erie News Now on-board Thursday. Inside, what used to be the back bedroom is now an office.
"It's outfitted with Wi-Fi to allow our staff and volunteers to work on the RV," said Persinger.
The campaign first started the engines on Saturday. Persinger admits it's partly strategy. But it's also his way of meeting Erie voters without those voters leaving their homes.
"They want a mayor who is accessible, someone who is in their neighborhood, not someone who is hiding behind a desk," he said.
Persinger's opponent, Democrat Joe Schember, is taking the more traditional route of a brick and mortar office for his campaign headquarters. But it's tough to miss, with 8-feet-high letters spelling out his name, lining 13th & State Streets in downtown Erie.
"One of the nice things about that is people always know where it is and it's always in the same place," Schember said.
Schember has called this location his campaign's home since the primary election. But the 66-year-old former Erie City Councilman and PNC Bank executive feels its important to set up downtown.
"Erie Refocused, which is the new comprehensive plan, basically says focus on the downtown first," said Schember.
Both campaigns are utilizing new strategies to get the message out before the Nov. 7 general election. Persinger, hopes that taking his headquarters on the road will boost his chances of winning the Erie mayoral race, something a Republican hasn't done since 1961.
"We've got to be different, we've got to be innovative," Persinger said, seated inside the bus surrounded by his wife and three children. "We've got to show the voters that this campaign is going to be exciting and engaging."