(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — We’re still in the middle of summer and the campaigns are already heating up.

Erie is often referred to as a bellwether county.

We reached out to political experts to see just how important Erie will be during this fall campaign.

After several visits from Republican Candidate Dr. Oz, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate John Fetterman will visit Erie on Aug. 12.

In previous elections, candidates have paid attention to Erie while often making multiple campaign stops in the area.

Some political experts said that Erie is an important county for candidates to visit.

So far this campaign season, several candidates running for office have made a visit to Erie. Both candidates running for governor of Pennsylvania spoke in Erie at the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Convention last week.

Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate Dr. Mehmet Oz has made multiple campaign stops in the region.

“The presidential election of 2016 taught us a bunch of lessons, but the most important lesson it taught us is a candidate who chooses not to come to Erie County is not doing themselves any favors. Erie County is still a very important county in Pennsylvania politics,” said Dr. Joe Morris, Political Analyst at Mercyhurst University.

Now, Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will visit Erie on Friday, Aug. 12 while relaunching his campaign after health issues.

We spoke with Republican County Councilman Brian Shank about Erie’s role in state elections as well as the chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party.

Shank said that he believes personal interaction with candidates is still important to residents in the area.

“We’re a huge player in the political world. You have your Phillies and your Pittsburgh’s, but Erie County has enough population and people take their voting very seriously. So candidates know they have to stop,” said Brian Shank, (R), Erie County Councilman.

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Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Wertz agrees with Shank.

“Erie is usually within a few tenths of a percent to the statewide margin, and so a lot of pundits like to look at Erie as a bellwether county to see how Pennsylvania is going to go in a general election cycle,” said Jim Wertz, Chair of Erie County Democratic Party.