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Pandemic creates challenge for candidates

Apr 06, 2020
Source: Facebook Camden Select Board Vice Chair Alison McKellar finds a way to collect signatures to run for re-election despite the pandemic.

Camden — In the midst of a global pandemic, some local residents are struggling to meet the requirements to run for election.

Camden Select Board Vice Chairman Alison McKellar is gathering signatures to run for another term in office. She is getting the word out on Facebook and having people bring their own pen to sign her nomination papers.

She posted a photo of the nomination papers sign up and the statement "Mission accomplished!"

"Thank you so much! I can’t believe how awesome you all are!" she said

"This is a very odd time to be collecting signatures so the best I can think of is the bring-your-own-pen curbside method," she had said previously. "You just need to be a registered Camden voter. I’m at 79 Mechanic Street and will keep the form out there, weather permitting, until I have a few more than the 25 needed."

For some running for higher offices, the pandemic has forced them to put their campaigns on hold.

"For all intents and purposes, I have suspended any official campaigning for two reasons," said Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, an Independent from Friendship. "First, I am too busy helping people as we navigate this crisis. Second, it just seems rather untoward to even be campaigning right now. So I hope people will recognize the good work that is being done and will remember this come November."

He encourages other politicians to follow the same path.

"The politicians who are busy with fundraising have been receiving an earful from me," he said. "I tell them to knock it off, people are going broke and getting sick and they're out asking for money? Pretty sad that they are that insensitive."

He noted that it is not safe or wise to knock on doors right now and going door-to-door has been a tradition for local people running for a place in the State House.

Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, said she was glad she got clean elections donations and signatures early.

"Although I certainly did not predict this pandemic, I had a feeling at the end of 2019 that I would have a very busy spring, so I held my campaign kickoff in January."

She said she has gotten the paperwork out of the way.

"I can focus entirely on helping my constituents, communities and businesses get through this crisis, and work toward a healthy future for when we’re on the other side," she said. "We will get through this. In the meantime, wash your hands and wear your masks!"






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