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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

PA-19: Joe Otterbein's Community-Based Strategy

Posted by Tim Tagaris

In 2004, there wasn't even a Democratic primary to determine the challenger to Republican Congressman Todd Platts. This year, Joe Otterbein is the first to throw his hat into the ring for Democrats. Not only is he the first to announce his desire to challenge Platts, his campaign is calling for more Democrats to step up and fill up the primary field. Then Otterbein and fellow Democratic challengers will go into the field to beef up and mobilize their volunteer base by preforming community service acts in the district. The idea was conceived by Good Works PAC, and Otterbein is the first Democrat running for Congress to give it a go. (From a press release I received today):

Instead of hoping to keep other candidates out of what many consider a long-shot attempt to defeat the three term incumbent, Otterbein is asking other Democrats to challenge him.

Otterbein told supporters at the York County Judicial Center that, "Politics should be about people getting together and solving problems. As competitors we can work together to find solutions to the real problems in our communities. Rather than bluster and preaching to the choir, we Democrats need to get off our stumps and into our communities to work side by side with our neighbors. We need to earn their trust with our sweat."

The strategy paid off for Swing State Project visitor and candidate for New York City Council candidate Gur Tsabar who was endorsed by the New York Times, in part because of his willingness to get out into the community and preform "good works." The PAC plans on pushing the idea primarily in "red" areas during the 2006 election cycle; those candidates don't have much to lose. But if and when it is successful, I think we might see more of the idea in 2008, much like we see with Dean Corps today.

Posted at 06:05 PM in Pennsylvania | Technorati