The Schuylkill County Republican Party opened its 2013 campaign by introducing the candidates running county-wide at the 55th annual Lincoln Day Dinner held Wednesday evening at the Pottsville Club with 150 in attendance.

Attorney Christine Holman, of Ryan Township, who is a county solicitor, is running for the office of district attorney; Pat Reynolds, of Branchdale, currently a constable but an army veteran who served in the military police, who is running for the office of sheriff.

Also introduced was Judge John E. Domalakes, Frackville, who is seeking his second 10 year retention for county judge. He will be on the ballot in November.

The key speaker was Lt. Governor Jim Cawley. He stated when he and Governor Tom Corbett were elected two years ago they inherited a deficit of $4.2 billion and in two years they have erased the deficit without raising taxes and have created 109,000 new jobs in the state.

Cawley said the biggest obstacle facing the administration is pensions for state workers. He pointed out this year $1.3 billion must be added to the pension fund and if revisions are not made in four years the figures will balloon to $4.5 billion.

He pointed out the need to update our infractures. Cawley said there are 45,000 bridges in the Commonwealth and the average age of a bridge is 51 years. One area where the administration seeks to raise funds is by increasing the liquid fuels tax oil industries pay by increasing it 17 percent which amounts to two cents per gallon. He said this would generate $1.8 billion in revenue.

Cawley also said that Pennsylvania is only one of two states which still has liquor stores. The other state is Utah. He equated them to Quakers and Mormons. He responded to the fear expressed of it going to private operators of having no control over those who purchase the alcoholic beverages wines. He dispelled this fear claiming the administration would make stronger laws such as selling to minors the offense would mean a heavy fine and the second offense loss of license to sell.

He concluded by stating that in Pennsylvania's better days lie ahead and urged the public to get involved in expressing their needs through letters to the editor to newspapers, expressing their views on talk State Representative Jerry Knowles, 124th legislative district, was toastmaster.

Remarks were made by State Senator David Argall, Gary Bender, chairman of the county Republican Party; Vic Stabile, of Cumberland County, Republican candidate for Superior Court Judge; Bob Ames, chairman of the dinner; and Toni M. Gilhooley, Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Federation of Republican Women.

The dinner committee consisted of Ames, chairman; Rudy Gherghel, Kyle Heffner, Bender, Susan Graver Koch, and Gloria Bercher.