Republican candidate for attorney general addresses crowds; campaign style clarified
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 12:09
A successful campaign depends on everyone; especially students who can help get the word out.
David Freed, 42, the Republican candidate for attorney general for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, stopped by the HUB Tuesday, to meet with students and explain his campaign style.
“It’s never an easy ride for a Republican statewide in Pennsylvania,” Freed said, “but we’ve been able to win statewide races because we have very good grassroots and very good organization.”
A guest of the IUP College Republicans organization, Freed is the current district attorney of Cumberland County in Central Pennsylvania and lives in Camp Hill, a town just outside of Harrisburg.
Freed has been focusing on a personalized campaign, working with campaign offices in Western, Southeastern, Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. He wants to ensure a high Republican voter turnout, especially in this region, to counter the typically high Democratic turnout in the southeastern part of the state.
To get that turnout, he is focusing on a simple, grassroots campaign style of person-to-person interaction.
He wants his voters to get to know him and make sure they support him as a candidate. This means leaving no door not knocked upon and no phone number not dialed.
Freed explained that grassroots campaigning worked for the Democrats in 2008, when Obama was elected. The Democratic campaign engaged younger voters by utilizing social media and getting its message out more effectively. He wants to equal that campaign.
“It’s great to get the big fancy endorsements,” Freed said, “but what’s as valuable or sometimes even more valuable is the work of people out there saying, ‘I’ve met this guy.’”
Freed explained his background, how he is a native Pennsylvania, who did his undergraduate work at Washington and Lee, and graduated from the Dickinson School of Law.
He was elected district attorney in 2007 and again in 2011. This is his first time running for attorney general.
Freed described the attorney general as the chief law enforcement officer of the commonwealth, who works very closely with local district attorneys in cases ranging from drug interdiction to consumer protection. The attorney general can also provide technological resources that may not normally be available to local law enforcement.
The attorney general is one-third criminal cases, one-third consumer protection cases and one-third general civil cases, he said.
Freed also explained that the attorney general is prepared to work with college campuses if issues arise. These issues typically involve drugs, especially the recent rise of synthetic drugs.
Freed believes in taking a balanced approach and wants the campus environment to be safe.
Freed is confident in his ability to win, however, as Republicans have held the seat since 1988.
Freed acknowledged that there is still a wide gap of undecided voters, and that’s where his campaign must come in.