Republican challenger for the 153rd district Nick Mattiacci stood outside of the Elkins Park Presbyterian Church on Cedar Road late this morning greeting voters. He chatted them up on topics ranging from family to cheesesteak venues.
It was his second visit to the venue today; he had gotten there at about 6:50 a.m., left to visit other polling places ... and to put on a heavier jacket and a second pair of socks ... and came back at about 11 a.m. to vote.
Mattiacci seemed calmer as compared to his first run for the 153rd.
“The first time was so rushed,” Mattiacci said. “Everything felt so immediate because we felt the stakes were so high; every decision had to be made in eight or 10 weeks. This time, things were spaced out a bit more; it was easier for me to get my message out to voters, door-by-door, person-to-person.”
Mattiacci said voter turnout has been steady all morning — which was also a change compared to his previous run earlier this year.
“It’s good to see that people are passionate about coming out to vote,” he said. “One of the issues we had with the special election was driving people out to vote because it was something new for the district — we had never had a special election before, and it was a primary, which are not always high-volume for turnout, so it was difficult to really make sure people knew about it.
“Here, there’s nothing you have to do for turnout,” he continued. “It’s just making sure that people know your message — what you’re running for — because they’re coming to the polls anyway.”
Mattiacci said he thinks he has the ability to cross party lines.
“I think I have a good message to Democrats in general,” he said. “I’m a young guy, I’m facing a lot of issues that people regardless of party are facing — high taxes tough economy, day care, credit cards — my message has been one of youth and energy and trying to be an independent voice.
And his take on partisanship during this election year?
“It’s crazy,” he said. “The republicans are moving too far to the right in a sense, and the Democrats are moving too far to the left. I’ve made it a point on our campaign to say that we’re just moving further and further away from each other. The problem is, there’s a good block of people in the middle. They just want some bi-partisanship — somebody to kind of bring them together, to be the person to say, ‘Let’s just get some things done for the greater good.’” I’ve always said that on day one, if I’m elected, I don’t need to take that step to the middle because I’m already standing there.”