Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Petitioning Party: Democratic candidates to hold open house

City Council members Shamaine Daniels and Wanda Williams

Center: City Council members Shamaine Daniels and Wanda Williams

For the past few months, Harrisburg’s local political scene has been almost as dormant as the barren dogwood trees that line parts of Front Street.

But, as spring approaches, the atmosphere seems to be warming up, with several fundraisers planned, including a multiple-candidate petition-signing party hosted by city Treasurer Dan Miller.

On Feb. 19, Miller will hold the party at his house, and eight Democratic candidates are expected to attend, including incumbent Council President Wanda Williams and mayoral challenger Gloria Martin-Roberts.

“This event is welcome to anyone who wants to sign petitions for Democrats who are good candidates for office,” Miller said. “You can talk to [the candidates], have some stuff to eat and drink, and discuss whatever you’d like.”

The list of participating candidates includes Martin-Roberts, who is challenging Mayor Eric Papenfuse, and council incumbents Williams, Shamaine Daniels and Ben Allatt. Council challenger Dave Madsen also is expected to attend. Four of city council’s seven seats are up for grabs.

Other expected attendees are Lori Serratelli for judge, Diane Bowman for Dauphin County prothonotary and incumbent Charlie DeBrunner for city controller. Miller himself is running for re-election as treasurer.

To run for office, completed petitions must be turned in by March 7. The primary election is May 16.

Miller said this event is not an endorsement of these candidates.

“These are people who I know who are running,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t endorse these people. I’m just trying to help them out, frankly.”

Those interested in public office need 100 signatures on petitions to run. This can be a long process of going door to door to collect signatures.

“It doesn’t sound that bad, but the thing is this that they all must be Democrats, registered [to vote] and signed correctly,” he said.

Those who are not registered to vote can register at the event.

Miller will be sending out invitations to his Uptown neighbors who are registered Democrats. The event is open to anyone who is interested in supporting these candidates.

“I don’t want people to feel intimidated because maybe they don’t know me,” he said.

For more information about the open house, visit the Facebook event.

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