This year, those wishing to seek election for municipal posts, school board or a spot for a position in an elected row office are preparing to announce their campaigns.
Heather Fellman, Huntingdon County elections coordinator, said for municipalities, it’s best to check with the local township or borough to see what positions are open for election.
“Some places may have one or two offices up for election, while others may have a handful of offices,” she said.
For school board directors, Fellman said she’s heard from three of the five districts in Huntingdon County thus far on open positions.
“In Juniata Valley (School District), there are four who are up for re-election, and for Southern Huntingdon County School District, there are two spots open in the western region, two spots in the eastern region and one in the central region,” she said. “In the Tussey Mountain School District, Region 1 has one spot up for election and Region 3 will have two. Those are the only ones I’ve heard from so far.”
At the county level, Fellman said there are a number of positions that are up for election this year.
“The commissioners are up this year, as well as the district attorney, treasurer, register and recorder and coroner,” she said. “Also, the magisterial district justice post for the first district, currently held by Doug Gummo, is up for election.”
The first day people can start circulating nomination petitions for those seeking to fill a post or run for re-election for municipal or county positions is Tuesday, Feb. 19.
“People can pick up nomination petitions a week before the first day to file them,” she said. “The last day to turn those petitions back in is Tuesday, March 12.”
Those running for municipal positions need 10 signatures from people in their nominating party, with the exception of those running for inspector of election positions, which only need five signatures from the nominating party.
“There’s no filing fee for most municipal positions, with the exception for those running for constable,” said Fellman. “That only costs $10 to file.”
Those running for county offices, however, need more signatures and there’s a filing fee, but the fee depends on the position.
“There are different filing fees, but most county offices have a $100 filing fee,” said Fellman. “The magisterial district justice filing fee is $50, but that’s one of the few positions where they can cross file, so this means it can cost up to $100.”
Magisterial district judge candidates aren’t the only ones that can cross file on the Democratic and Republican ballots for the spring primary. School board directors can also cross file on both ballots, but there’s no fee for cross filing for those running for school board directors.
Some seeking elected posts may opt out of filing a nomination petition and run a write-in campaign, but Fellman said, ultimately, that doesn’t make it easier for those who are running.
“While we welcome civic engagement of any kind, it definitely does make it easier to file a nomination petition for the people running,” she said. “You can take care of any paperwork up front. If you end up winning by a write-in campaign, you still have to do all of the paperwork, so it helps to get that out of the way up front.
“If you run a write-in campaign, it makes less room for that take up more time for the person who is running for office,” Fellman added.