The deluge of campaign activity in the final days before Tuesday's election would be enough to exhaust the most hard-core political junkie. But if the electioneering seems particularly intense this season, it's because the stakes are particularly high -- especially in Pennsylvania.
Nationally, Republicans are trying to reverse the losses they suffered in 2008. As the party occupying the White House, Democrats are almost certain to take some hits in congressional races. The question is whether the Republicans can gain enough ground to regain their majority in the U.S. House and Senate, and possibly lay the groundwork for retaking the White House in 2012.
Statewide, that battle is playing out in the race for Arlen Specter's U.S. Senate Seat, with Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak within a hair's breadth of each other in the polls.
It's also playing out in York County, with Red Lion businessman Ryan Sanders running on the Democratic ticket to challenge long-time U.S. Rep. Todd Platts, R-York County, for leadership of the 19th District. An independent, Joshua Monighan of Cumberland County, will also be on the ballot.
The other big statewide race is for governor, with Republicans eager to win that slot after eight years of Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell's leadership.
Attorney General Tom Corbett is a particularly prominent Republican candidate, in the wake of the high-profile "Bonusgate" investigation in which he filed charges against state lawmakers from both parties for allegedly using state resources for their own campaigns. On the Democratic side is Dan Onorato, who pledges to bring the same leadership qualities that served him as Allegheny County chief executive.
The local political scene is pretty active this year as well. The 28th state Senate district, which includes most of York County, is up for grabs, with longtime Republican incumbent Mike Waugh facing a challenge from Libertarian Ed Gately.
There are also contested races in six of the eight state House of Representatives districts that include part of York County. Those six districts, and the candidates running, are as follows:
--- Keith Gillespie, Republican incumbent, Hellam Township
--- Eric P. Wolfgang, Democrat, Springettsbury Township
--- Derf Maitland, Democrat, Union Township, Adams County
--- Dan Moul, Republican incumbent, Conewago Township, Adams County
--- Ron Miller, Republican incumbent, Jacobus
--- Linda Small, Democrat, New Freedom
--- Metta Barbour, Democrat, Red Lion
--- Stan Saylor, Republican incumbent, Windsor Township
--- Mike Strausbaugh, Democrat, Hamilton Township, Adams County
--- Will Tallman, Republican incumbent, Reading Township, Adams County
--- Seth Grove, Republican incumbent, Dover Township
--- Curtis Kann, Democrat, Dover Township
--- William Kohler, Libertarian, Dover Township
For more information on elections, visit the York County Website at www.york-county.org, and go to Voter Registration/Elections under "select a department." Or check out the Pennsylvania Department of State at www.dos.state.pa.us.
--- For more election stories, visit ydr.com/politics.
--- For the online voters' guide on local contested races, visit ydr.com/guide.