Mayoral Candidates Prepare for Final Eight Weeks of Campaign - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Mayoral Candidates Prepare for Final Eight Weeks of Campaign

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We're only eight weeks away from the general election, and many came to the Jefferson Educational Society Tuesday night to learn about how the primaries were won, and what the two candidates are doing to prepare for November.

"We're going to try and get behind the numbers from the Spring. Did they fit the ethnic pattern of voting? What happened? How did these two fellows emerge from the pack?" said Pat Cuneo, the Public Relations Coordinator for the Jefferson Educational Society.

There were nine candidates on the primary ballot, but now it's down to Democrat Joe Schember and Republican John Persinger. The City of Erie hasn't had a Republican mayor since 1961, something speaker Pat Cuneo points out will force Persinger to work harder. 

"He need Democrats to seriously consider him, to jump over and vote for him," said Cuneo.

Cuneo added, the biggest obstacle for Persinger especially is voter turnout, getting those younger generations to the polls.

"In the 18-year-olds, exactly nine voted in the Spring primary, that's just horrific," said Cuneo.

But Persinger has a plan, to attract both the young and older demographic.

"They all want new ideas, and new energy in city hall. So we've been going to their doorsteps, we've been taking our mobile headquarters where they are, in their neighborhoods at their events," said Persinger.

Schember is following a similar door-to-door method, hoping to get to at least 3,000 by November. He said although it has been a Democrat led city for years, he won't rely on that.

"The main thing I've doing is just trying to meet with people, and I pretty much just spend my day from the time I get up, to the time I go to bed, in various meetings with people, including going door-to-door with super voters," said Schember.

Cuneo said another key way to bring out those younger voters, is reaching them through social media.

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