The March meeting of the Carbon County Democrats for Change (CCDC), was "Meet the Candidates" night, packing the newly-renovated lower-level at Pepperjack's Restaurant in Jim Thorpe. Several Democratic candidates running for positions in the upcoming primaries attended to make their pitch.

Gubernatorial candidate Joe Hoeffel, a Montgomery County commissioner, and arguably the most progressive of the Democrats running for the party's nomination, made the first presentation.

Also speaking for the Governor's race was a representative for Dan Onorato, Allegheny Co. Executive who is challenging Hoeffel and two others who were not represented at the meeting.

Jake Digel, Senator Arlen Specter's NEPA campaign manager and Joe Werner, Congressman Paul Kanjorski's campaign manager, presented the case for those candidates for Federal positions.

On the local level, the five Democratic candidates for state representative in Carbon County, were all present. Justin Yaich, Robert Frycklund, Bruce Nalesnik, John Wieczorek, and Jeffrey Bobish are vying for the position being vacated by retiring Rep. Keith McCall, a 14-term veteran of the office. Each had an opportunity to tell the group what they felt were the most important issues in the district and if elected, how they can make a difference. After each made their presentation, they fielded questions from the audience.

The most important issue overall was property tax reform, followed by jobs, education and the dwindling of health care services in Carbon County, specifically maternity care.

The CCDC is a growing action group in Carbon County that supports progressive legislation and candidates at the national, state, and local level. Newcomers are always welcome. For further information, please call President Linda Christman at 610-377-0235, email lachris@ptd.net or visit the website, www.carbondemsforchange.org.