Candidate hopefuls file petitions to secure spots on the Pennsylvania primary ballot

Written by on March 9, 2021

Candidate hopefuls file petitions to secure spots on the Pennsylvania primary ballot

By Tyler Pratt

March 9, 2021

Ce-ce Gurlach with petitions for Allentown mayor outside the Lehigh County Government Center Monday, March 8. Photo | Tyler Pratt / WLVR

March 9 is the last day for Lehigh Valley residents hoping to run for local office to submit enough signatures to qualify. 

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Candidates for school board, city council, and elections judge stood in line March 8 to file petitions. 

Ce-Ce Gerlach, who’s running for Allentown mayor, counted her stack before going in. 

“Looks like I have 23 volunteers out here and that’s amazing. We were able to collect more than 538 signatures,” Gerlach says.  

She only needed 100. 

Lehigh County candidates for municipal elections wait in line to file petitions Monday, March 8. Photo | Tyler Pratt / WLVR

Local candidates like Gerlach faced new challenges getting signatures in a pandemic, especially when it meant cold calls at people’s homes.  

“You ring the bell, knock on the door to  put the petition down on the clipboard then you have to run away and then from the sidewalk you have to scream to them what’s going on – like why you are bothering them,” Gerlach says. 

Gerlach also relied on a Democratic drive-in event. And she asked supporters to sign up online after which a campaign volunteer would track them down for a real signature.

Ce-ce Gurlach with petitions for Allentown mayor outside the Lehigh County Government Center Monday, March 8. Photo | Tyler Pratt / WLVR

“We had one volunteer who just essentially drove around and she would text them when she was outside she would leave the petition on their doorstep, go far away and they would sign,” Gerlach says. 

The full list of who filed in time will be up Wednesday on Lehigh County’s voter registration site. Candidates will have a week to dispute signatures. And voters should know who’s officially on the primary ballot near the end of March. 

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