(Ed Gainey, left, campaigns door-to-door near a home with one of his yard signs.)Knocking on doors ahead of the Democratic primary, state Rep. Joe Preston and challenger Ed Gainey were talking about one thing: Preston's years representing the 24th District in Harrisburg.
Gainey, who fell 93 votes short of Preston in the primary two years ago, spent last Saturday morning walking the neighborhood of Homewood, telling voters it was time for a change.
"Joe Preston's been in for 30 years," he said to one woman. "I was 13 when he took office. Thirty years later, I ask people do they know what Joe Preston's done in the last 30 years?"
In the afternoon, Preston, 64, climbed to the wide porches on several blocks in Wilkinsburg, where he signed pieces of campaign literature and lodged them by mailboxes. When he caught a voter home -- fewer of them were -- he didn't mention Gainey.
"I'm Joe Preston, your state representative," he said at one home. "You tell him I stopped by personally, OK?"
The race made news when more than half of the signatures on Preston's nominating petitions were withdrawn by the campaign or thrown out by a Commonwealth Court judge after challenges by Gainey. From 806 names originally submitted, Preston was left with 308 valid signatures -- just enough to meet the 300-signature requirement.