Former Republican candidates for commissioner Dr Steve Brady, and Mr. Chad Riley, are both announcing their “candidacy” as write-in candidates for the November election for Lycoming County Commissioner.
While both candidates were willing to accept the decision of the Republican party voters, and their loss to Metzger and Mussare, they are concerned about the process. Dr Brady, in announcing his intent, said “It is clear that anyone can run a ‘write in’ campaign--that’s the nature of allowing for write in’s on the actual election day ballot. What isn’t clear is why the media, and the local established not-for-profit organizations, are giving the self-declared candidates the same platform as those vetted by the primary process.”
Mr Riley added that write-in campaigns can be decided up to the day of the election. To highlight that point, this spring he noticed that there were no republican candidates for the school board on the primary ballot. He reached out to his family and neighbors who wrote him in--and now he is on the ballot for the general election for the Southern Tioga School District.
They highlighted that as announced “write in candidates” they fully understand the difference between running as an “independent” and asking people to write their names in. Running as an independent would require they complete the ballots, and by law not have run (and lost) in a primary. In fact, PA law explicitly forbids the running as either a balloted “independent” or other party candidate following a primary loss. That is the “sore loser” law.
When asked, Dr Brady responded that inviting self-pronounced candidates to a position on debate platforms, and highlighting them as the “third” (or in the case of Commissioner, the “fifth”) candidate, provides a cost-free public relations lift not usually afforded to traditional write-in campaigns. He stated “In the cases we are seeing this election cycle, these are incumbents who either chose not to run, or lost in the primaries. Hopefully they are not being allowed a seat in the forums and debates simply because of their incumbent status. This would call into question the objectivity of the debate and forum hosts.”
Dr Brady and Mr Riley, in announcing their respective write-in candidacies, are looking forward to joining in the debates and forums, and sharing their views on the direction Lycoming County should take moving forward.