A lifelong Erie Democrat doing what some other Democrats may question; voting for a Republican. An endorsement coming from Pat Cappabianca, a lifelong Erie democrat serving on City Council and ran for mayor more than once... all that as a Democrat; now, he's crossing party lines.
"Something has to happen in Erie to get Erie moving forward again," says Cappabianca. That forward motion, he believes, will come from John Persinger as Mayor. You may have seen the commercials or the flyer in the mail. It's the first time in recent history a Democrat has lended this much support to a candidate from the other side. "This is the first time I am voting Republican," says Cappabianca, "and I am tired of Erie being in the doldrums and not moving forward at all."
The Director of the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics, Joe Morris says Persinger has to pull out all of the stops to try and pull off a win. "Objectively, whether endorsements matter a whole lot is difficult to say; however, Persinger is facing a big challenge and that is: there are just a lot more Democrats than Republicans in the city limits, so any sort of endorsement from any well-known Democrat is helpful."
While the impact of an endorsement on a candidate's win is hard to predict, could this endorsement by Cappabianca be exactly what other Democrats need to hear?
"I think it may give some Democrats license to do something that they have not felt comfortable doing and that is voting for a candidate from the other party." Cappabianca insisting it's not about the party, it's about the future. "I think the day of party labels is over, it's not that the Democrats you love them less it's that you love Erie more... that's what it is."
Morris suggests if you can boost Republican turnout in the city that might very well have a trickle-down effect and help the Republicans running for other races: County Executive and Erie City Council.
Meantime, the Persinger campaign is trying to influence voters in these days before the election the old fashioned way.... did you happen to see this in the skies above Erie today? Persinger chartered a plane to fly the Erie skies this afternoon with the attached banner reading, 'Vote Persinger'. The plane circled above the city, using this age-old form of advertising in hopes of getting some exposure outside of the campaign's traditional uses of social media and other 21st century technology.
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