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Campaigns down to last month

By Staff | Oct 1, 2010

With a little over a month until Election Day, candidates’ campaigns are starting to heat up.

As Nov. 2 draws near, area citizens have expressed their opinion about the campaign and the Jefferson County Commission candidate that has most impressed them.

Jane Summers from Shepherdstown believes that the race is clear cut. She feels that Ed Dunleavy has a handle on the issues.

“I like Ed Dunleavy,” Summers said. “I think he has a lot of great ideas about which way Jefferson County should go in the future. I think with his skills he can help manage the county business better.”

Dan Lutz of Charles Town says that Paul Taylor would make a great commissioner.

“(Walter) Pellish is good, but I like Taylor better,” Lutz said.

Lutz even had his own thoughts on other candidates.

“Some say that Pellish is pro-growth. Ed Dunleavy joined the race too late. If he wanted to run for the County Commission he should have done it in the primary election.”

But Dunleavy, the write-in candidate, feels that he has made up the ground after starting his campaign late after the other had been elected to run.

“Running a campaign as an Independent seems to be resonating as our meetings have been attended by well-known Democrats, Republicans and several members of the tea party group,” he said.

John Shea of Summit Point has not kept up with the races and doesn’t feel he knows the candidates that well.

“I just hope whoever is elected will think about the citizens of Jefferson County before they make decisions that affect the citizens,” Shea said.

Carol Gallant of Harpers Ferry has gone to a couple of fund raisers and has not quite decided what box to check come Election Day, though she does like Ed Dunleavy.

“One thing I appreciate is that Ed Dunleavy talks specifics about his platform, and he also has written issue briefs. To often elections hinge on who-likes-who or some special interest gets behind a candidate to push its own agenda, and candidates just offer generalities or criticism,” Gallant said. “I like hearing an actual plan because I think this is another election that will determine the direction of this county over the next six years.”

While the citizens of Jefferson County express what they are feeling about the campaigns, the candidates themselves also have an opinion on how they think they are doing. They all feel that the campaigns are on track and all are expecting a good out come. Jobs, budget management and, of course, the county are their talking points.

Taylor, the democrat candidate, said he has met many citizens who support him.

“The best part so far is meeting so many interesting and supportive citizens. I’m looking forward to representing the citizens of Jefferson County,” Taylor said.

While he’s met many who stand behind him, Taylor doesn’t forget the long road it’s been as he looks ahead.

“The campaign is progressing as planned. It’s been both exciting and exhausting,” he said. “It’s gone from a walk, to a jog, to a run for the finish line.”

Pellish, the republican runnning for commission, thinks that part of the election will swing on bringing more jobs into the county.

“The vast majority of people I have spoken with share my belief that the most serious issue in the county is the need for jobs. New jobs and new businesses are the focus of my campaign,” Pellish said. “People also share my belief that the Commission needs to manage and spend our citizens’ tax dollars more wisely.”

Pellish also said his campaign has served as a learning experience for him.

“I have met many people from all parts of the county, and listened to their concerns, ideas and suggestions,” he said. “I am very appreciative of the support I am receiving from citizens, and I am looking forward to Election Day.”

Dunleavy’s platform revolves around county finances and “has struck a good note at all of our meetings.” Dunleavy’s schedule for the coming month includes about a dozen more meetings with voters hosted by his supporters.

“While campaigning has been hectic, we are pleased with the positive response we seem to be getting,” he said.

“Whoever is elected, I’d like to see the Commission improve its handling of information it receives and its interaction with citizens,” Gallant added. “More support and professional staff to handle correspondence and research, and establish offices so citizens have a way to speak with them besides public forums.”