Marty Wilder, former managing editor of The Bradford Era, was unanimously elected chairman of the McKean County Democratic Committee at a reorganization meeting Wednesday evening at Lewis Run Firehall.
Patrick Barrett of Port Allegany, who was elected vice chairman, returned to McKean County in 2014 after owning a construction company in Phoenix, Ariz.; and, prior to that, serving as a licensed import broker with the U.S. Customs Service.
Harriet Nevil of Eldred, Annin Township, was elected secretary. She is a retired rehabilitation nurse manager at Olean (N.Y.) General Hospital and is now a geriatric nurse consultant serving nursing homes by educating staff in rehabilitation, leadership, and insurance utilization.
Kevin Slocum of Cyclone, Keating Township, an employee of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, was elected treasurer. He is on his third term as a committeeman and has worked on various groups with fundraising and campaigning.
The group met in caucus and elected members of the executive committee comprising the officers, Democratic state committeeman Jim Heckman of Bradford, and Ron Mcgonigle of Bradford, at-large member.
Representing geographical regions within the county are Susan Tessmer, committeewoman from Bradford City, 6th ward, 2nd district; Joseph Kelsey, Bradford City, 4th ward; Maryanne Cole, Foster Township, 2nd district; Walter “Gene” Johnson of Hamlin Township; Denise Hale, committeewoman for Norwich Township; and Joel Greene, Keating Township, 2nd district.
Also in attendance Wednesday was Rich Schweikart of St. Marys, chairman of the Elk County Democratic Committee and Northwest Pennsylvania District of the Democratic Party.
Wilder, the committeewoman for Corydon Township, asked for support for and introduced Cole who waged a successful write-in campaign for the Democratic nomination for state representative from the 67th district.
Wilder raised key concerns for the rural region — health care issues targeting individuals and hurting small community hospitals; lack of universal internet and cell phone service; pay stagnation and wage inequality — issues the committee hopes to address as it rallies behind Democrats at all levels of government.
The next meeting will be 6:30 p.m. July 11, at the Crosby Firehall. All Democrats are welcome to attend.