LEWISTOWN - On Wednesday, independent Congressional candidate Nick Troiano will make history when he submits nearly double the required signatures to appear on the ballot for the November election to the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation.
Troiano needed 3,592 signatures in the 10th U.S. Congressional District, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. That figure is more than three times what his opponents needed - a point of contention for him and something he would like to see changed for third-party candidates.
Troiano doesn't want to reveal precisely how many signatures he and his 40 volunteers have collected. He is saving that little tidbit for the planned 10 a.m. rally on the Capitol steps in Harrisburg.
Nick Troiano is running as an independent candidate vying to represent the U.S. 10th Congressional District. Troiano is the youngest person running for Congress in the country during this election cycle.
Troiano said that, at 25-years-old, he will be the youngest Congressional candidate in the country during this election cycle and the first independent candidate for the 10th district.
Troiano said there are a growing number of people in the country who identify themselves as independent, "and yet there are no independents in the House of Representatives."
Troiano is running a citizen-funded campaign and said he is, "not beholden to a (political) party or special interest."
With the on-going political polarization in Washington, D.C., Troiano said he believes he can provide some much needed, "new blood and new ideas."
Troiano said he has the experience to build upon and, "a vision to share with people," on the direction he would like to see this country go in.
He added that he wants to help bring both sides, Democrats and Republicans, together to get things done in Washington, D.C.
"My mission is to open peoples minds as to what is possible," he said.
Troiano said he is the only candidate running who has laid out a platform of issues he wants to tackle. Those issues include fiscal responsibility, social mobility, environmental sustainability and political reform.
Political reform is a topic he plans on speaking about at Wednesday's event in Harrisburg.
Troiano said, "we need to level the playing the field," for third party candidates by requiring all candidates, no matter their political affiliation, to have the same amount of signatures required to get on the ballot.
In addition, Troiano said the closed primary system in Pennsylvania, which doesn't allow third party candidates on the ballot, is wrong and needs to change.
Troiano also thinks the 10th U.S. Congressional district has been "gerrymandered" to protect the incumbent in the most recent redistricting plan. Troiano is advocating to take redistricting out of the hands of politicians and appoint an independent commission to do it instead.
Troiano is running against Democratic candidate Scott F. Brion and incumbent Republican Tom A. Marino.