On Politics: Chatting with Luzerne County’s new Democratic leader

Pekarovsky –

When he was elected chairman of the Luzerne County Democratic Party last week, John Pekarovsky vowed to fix a party he said was broken.

In an interview on Monday afternoon, Pekarovsky spoke with me about what that means.

For starters, involvement is down. Each voting district in the county is supposed to have two Democratic committeepeople — one man and one woman.

Right now, Pekarovsky said, 35 to 40 percent of those positions are vacant.

He attributes some of that to a declining tide in civic and political activism. “Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t want to get involved anymore,” Pekarovsky said.

Filling those vacancies is a key issue on the agenda for an upcoming July 12 party meeting.

A rising red tide

But Pekarovsky also knows there are larger trends to combat. The extent to which Luzerne County voters embraced Republican Donald Trump in his 2016 presidential race, as we all know, turned the heads of political scientists and media from around the world.

As we reported in May, registered Democrats still outnumber Republicans in Luzerne County, but things are changing:

• Republicans gained 509 voters from last fall until that point, for a new total of 74,911.

• Democrats lost 228, bringing the party’s…

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