2009-10-01 / Local & State

Democrats Hold Fall Dinner

Fletcher, Kortz keynote speakers
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Prothonotary candidate Brandon Fletcher speaks to an enthusiastic crowd as event emcee Jim Butts and state Rep. Bill Kortz (Allegheny County) look on. Prothonotary candidate Brandon Fletcher speaks to an enthusiastic crowd as event emcee Jim Butts and state Rep. Bill Kortz (Allegheny County) look on. Hoping to bring change to Fulton County as well as the commonwealth, local prothonotary candidate Brandon Fletcher and state Rep. Bill Kortz were featured keynote speakers at Saturday’s annual fall dinner hosted by the Fulton County Democratic Party.

Held at the Needmore Volunteer Fire Co., the event saw the crowd rally for Fletcher, who will be squaring off against Republican incumbent Patty Suders Fix during the quickly approaching November 3 election. The last time a Democrat held the office of prothonotary locally was 1945.

A native of Harrisonville, Fletcher stated, since last speaking with area Democrats in the spring, his campaign trail has led him across the county to various communities ranging from Buck Valley and Whips Cove to Wells Tannery and Hustontown. Fletcher jested even though his itinerary was bursting with fairs and festivals, he didn’t have a whole lot of trouble eating the great food and ice cream on hand.

County Democrats filled the Needmore Firehall Saturday evening for the annual fall banquet that included an appearance by Rep. Bill Kortz. County Democrats filled the Needmore Firehall Saturday evening for the annual fall banquet that included an appearance by Rep. Bill Kortz. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet and mingle with a lot of nice people from all over Fulton County,” stated Fletcher, who added interesting conversations included the state budget and healthcare reform as well as selecting a third county commissioner. One recurring theme during these discussions surrounded visibility and accessibility.

“In my mind it’s not an extraordinary request,” he said of not disappearing from the public eye after being elected to office. In order to help him realize his dreams of becoming county prothonotary, Fletcher asked for assistance in handing out campaign literature and yard signs and assistance at the polls on November 3.

Getting a head start on the May 2010 election, state Rep. Bill Kortz (Allegheny County) of the 38th Legislative District announced his intention to run against U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter. Kortz maintains he entered this race “For All the Right Reasons,” just as he entered the race for state representative in 2006 on the notion state officials were out of touch with the citizens of Pennsylvania.

“I was the underdog back then. I’m the underdog now,” he said in noting his energy, vision and remedy for the future.

A manager for the galvanized division of U.S. Steel Corp., for approximately three decades, Kortz’s campaign revolves around the war in Iraq and the current state of the economy such as job rates and home foreclosures. “I am 100 percent behind our military, the best fighting men and women in the world. What I’m not behind is politicians who take a righthand turn out of a war that was correct and went to Iraq. That has cost 4,500 men and women their lives when it never should have happened,” said Kortz, of the war effort that has also cost $700 billion to date.

Touching on the topic of single payer healthcare Saturday evening and House Bill 1660, Kortz, a lifelong Democrat, pointed out in this state alone a total of 1.5 million individuals are without health insurance. An additional 2 million are under insured.

“It’s all inclusive. There are no insurance premiums, deductibles, copays and caps,” said Kortz of the proposed healthcare plan. “We have a funding stream for it too. It will work.”

“To sum it up in it’s most basic form, it’s Medicare for everyone,” concluded Kortz.

Of note in attendance at the fall dinner were county Chairman Rheon Gelvin; state Committeeman David Gourley; Phyllis Bard, auditor; Jury Commissioner Doretta Mellott; Commissioner David Hoover II; former commissioners Ellis Yingling and Donald Bard; and various township committee persons.

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