Erie mayoral candidates rev up campaigns

City of Erie to elect new mayor for first time in 12 years

ERIE, Pa. -- Leading up to this year’s primary election on May 16, City of Erie mayoral candidates presented ideas on reducing crime, improving education and other concerns.

"Lure more businesses into the city and to help the younger generation get jobs," requested John Wisniewski of Erie.

Only two major party candidates will compete for the office.

John Persinger clenched the Republican nomination with 1,943 votes. Democrat Joe Schember won with 3,764 votes, according to Erie County Courthouse.

Schember said, "We certainly have problems with drugs and crime and violence and blighted neighborhoods, but I think it comes back to a loss of hope. We have to restore that hope by seeing that there's good family-sustaining jobs out there."

"The Persinger Plan focuses on three things: one) focusing on education, two) cleaning up the city, and three) fighting for the city's future," said Persinger.

Although the election is still three months away, the two hopefuls have been hard at work on the campaign trail.

Schember said, "We're having a lot of one-on-one meetings, a lot of small group meetings during the day, telling my message and getting feedback back about it. The evening is a lot about events. The summers in Erie are full of events."

Persinger said, "The campaign is going great. As you can see, we've got our mobile headquarters behind us. We've been taking that to all the events the festivals, and most importantly, we've been going to people's neighborhoods."

The candidates will have to prove to voters that their families and neighborhoods matter.

Erie resident Kaitlin Goodard said, "They want residents taken care of rather than guests coming in from out of town. Take care of us first rather than impressing other people."

The deadline to register to is Oct. 10. The municipal election is Nov. 7.


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