Editor's Notes

The Pennsylvania primary election is just a bit more than six weeks away.

Aside from the special election between Republican Fred Keller and Democrat Marc Friedenberg for Tom Marino's vacated 12th Congressional district seat, the May 21 primary will be very local in focus.

We've published various candidate announcements throughout the first few months of the year, all of which reside on our website under the heading ELECTION 2019. 

There's a lot more to come from our reporters and editors.

Each of the four counties The Daily Item most regularly covers — Northumberland, Snyder, Union and Montour — has competitive races for county commissioner.

There are 29 candidates overall for commissioner — 5 in Montour, 8 in Northumberland, 7 in Snyder and 9 in Union.

Not many are incumbents. In Montour, 3 of 5 already hold office, but in Northumberland, it's just 2 of 8; in Snyder it's 1 of 7 and in Union it's 2 of 9.

Doing a little quick basic math, that's 8 incumbents out of 29 candidates — so 72.4 percent of those running for commissioner are challengers.

Any way you look at it, that's a lot of candidates, which is a very good thing for the Valley. So many offices go without candidates. It's fantastic to see so much interest in serving.

The challenge The Daily Item faces with all these people running is figuring out a way to interview them before the primary.

We'll do what we've done in recent years with the Keller-Friedenberg race. We've invited them both in for interviews in our conference room and will live stream those sessions so anyone who wants to can watch them as they happen. We'll also keep those interviews stored on our site until election day.

As for the county commissioner candidates in the primary, we've decided to take a different approach, since getting all 29 into our office between now and then did not seem practical.

We're going to compile a list of questions that we will ask each of them. If you have a question you'd like to suggest we ask the candidates in your county, please send it along to me at dlyons@dailyitem.com.

Our reporters — Marcia Moore in Snyder County, Justin Strawser in Northumberland, Eric Scicchitano in Union and Joe Sylvester and Karen Blackledge in Montour — will ask the candidates to answer those questions on video. We hope they'll all participate.

We'll post those videos on our website, so you can watch any or all of them at your leisure. We thought this would be a good way for everyone interested to see the candidates answer the same questions. 

We will, of course, also publish stories online and in print, summarizing what they have to say as we get closer to Election Day.

Before the general election in November, we will invite the primary winners in for additional conversations about the key issues.

Helping Valley voters get to know the people who want to represent them is an important part of what we do. We hope you'll take some time to take advantage.

Email comments to dlyons@dailyitem.com. Follow Dennis on Twitter @Brooklynguy55.

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