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Holden, Cartwright Open Easton Campaign Offices

In the newly drawn 17th congressional district, Easton is place where neither Democrat has a built-in advantage. That’s party why it’s the first place that incumbent Rep. Tim Holden and challenger Matt Cartwright each have a campaign office.

Holden, a former sheriff from Schuylkill County, opened his first campaign office in downtown Easton on Friday night. It’s his first.

Cartwright, an attorney from Lackawanna County, opened his Easton office on Monday It’s his campaign’s third field office; the first two are in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, plus a back office in Plains.

Northampton County represents roughly 15 percent of the Democratic primary vote in the new district.

Sandi Vulcano is an Easton City Councilwoman and the Chair of the Easton City Democratic Committee. She said it’s too soon to tell who most Democrats in the area will support.

“I know a lot of people are leaning toward Mr. Cartwright,” she said. “They’re not really happy with Mr. Holden’s record.”

However, she is inclined to support the incumbent. She said Holden told the committee that his conservative voting record reflected his current district, but that he recognizes the district – and expectations – have changed.

“I’m leaning toward Holden because I feel he has won a number of years in a Republican area. He has the experience, he has the clout. But I’m not 100 percent yet.”

The committee will not make an official endorsement, and has endeavored to facilitate campaign efforts by both candidates.

Holden boasts the endorsements of a number of Northampton Democrats, including Easton Mayor Sal Panto Pa. Senator Lisa Boscola, Pa. Rep. Bob Freeman and Northampton District Attorney John Morganelli.

Whichever candidate emerges victorious will face Scranton Tea Party founder Laureen Cummings in November. And, because PA-17 has become markedly more Democratic following redistricting, the winner between Holden and Cartwright will be an overwhelming favorite in the general election.

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