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Democratic candidates meet community members

By Clay Winowiecki - cwinowiecki@chronicle-tribune.com

Community members talked issues with Democratic candidates at the Center Township Neighbor Day Candidate Meet & Greet, hosted by the Grant County Democratic Women’s Club, Monday evening.

The event was run by Center Township Trustee candidate Cathy Griffin.

"I think it gives another opportunity for people to come and meet me, and some of our other Center Township candidates that are here," Griffin said. "I feel when I talk to people they're sincere in what they've experienced. I'm really into connecting people with other resources and making them as independent as possible."

Griffin is opposed by longtime Center Township Trustee Bryce Coryea on the November ballot. 

Community members came out to the event to give voice to issues that are important to them. Many members voiced concerns about health care.

"What's really important to me is that I have not had health care since I lost my job ... I am a music teacher and they cut music in my school and my job was gone," said Lori Baxter, a member of the Grant County Democratic Women.

Patricia Gibson, who is running for County Council hopes to add a Democratic voice to the council. Gibson is opposed by incumbent Frank Hix for the district 2 seat.

"I think that having a majority party can often lead to conversations not being as productive as they can be," Gibson said. "I would love to hear from a variety of different people in the budget process and find new ways of doing things."

"I'm just coming out in support of all the people who are here and I appreciate those who are here, showing an interest in their political rights," said Paul F. Thompson Jr., candidate for Center Township Trustee Board.

"If I'm elected I want to work with both parties. Once the election is over it's over. Let's work and do our jobs and represent the people who put us where were at," Thompson Jr. said.

Community member Andrew Venezia said he came to the meet and greet to mingle with other like-minded people.

"The way (Trump) treats women and minorities, sometimes I am just taken aback," he said.

"To me the most important thing is social security and medicare," said community member Cathy Mitchell. "I also am also very concerned about the mentality of meanness that is going around. Sexual harassment being acceptable, it shouldn't be. I want the country to go back to being concerning and nice again."

Local elections are what affect us the most, so it is important to get involved, Mitchell said.

A notable appearance made at the meet and greet was Joselyn Whitticker, who is running for state auditor.

The event also helped community members register to vote and request absentee ballots, if needed. Today is the deadline to register to vote for the fall election.