Pre-Election Roundup for Rocket-Courier Area
Bradford County Offers Few Candidates But Tight Races
By Rick Hiduk
While the relatively small number of those vying for public office in Bradford County is disappointing to some, next Tuesday’s election still offers some tight races and could produce some surprise results.
Several candidates, including incumbent Coroner Thomas Carman, District Attorney Daniel Barrett, Sheriff Clinton Walters and County Treasurer Becky Clark, are running unopposed, as is Register of Wills, Recorder of Deeds and Clerk of Orphans Court Shirley Rockefeller. The three current county Auditors, Audrey Allen, Susan Storch, and Jeff Warner, are relatively secure in their seats as well. Incumbent Magisterial District Judges Tim Clark and Fred Wheaton are also unchallenged in their respective districts.
Some of the county-wide races that will definitely be decided at the polls include the contests between Democrat David Wecht and Vic Stabile for Superior Court judge, Democrat Kathryn Boockvar and Republican Anne Covey for judge of Commonwealth Court, and Democrat Michael Shultz and Sally Fairchild Vaughn for prothonotary and clerk of courts.
The most hotly contested seats in the county are on the board of commissioners. Four candidates, including incumbents Doug McLinko and Mark Smith, are pitted against Democrat Gene Osmun and Republican Daryl Miller to retain their seats. The three top vote-getters in that race will steer county government and policies together for the next four years.
Most municipal races—those for township supervisors, borough council representatives, and school board members—suffer from too few, if any, contestants at all. In fact, of all of the boroughs and townships in the Rocket-Courier’s primary readership, only Towanda’s second ward offers a contest in which there are more candidates seeking a particular office than there are seats available. Voters there must choose between Democrat Steven Michel and Republican Paul Sweitzer to fill a borough council position.
Some Susquehanna County Offices Up for Grabs
By Sandra Raub
While many Susquehanna County incumbents will be running unopposed in the upcoming municipal elections, several township and borough seats are listed as open by the county board of elections.
County positions held by incumbents and not in contention include DA Jason Legg, Coroner Anthony Conarton, Treasurer Catherine Benedict and Register and Recorder Mary Evans. Current Magisterial District 34-3-01 Judge Jeffrey Hollister also runs unopposed, as does Jodi Cordner, who runs to replace retiring Peter Janicelli for the District 34-3-02 Judge position.
Four candidates vie for the three county commissioner seats: incumbents Mary Ann Warren, Michael Giangrieco and Leon Allen, and newcomer Alan Hall of Hallstead.
Three county auditor positions will be filled, and four candidates have thrown their hats in for those positions: incumbents George Starzec, Holly Bialy and Susan Jennings, along with Melanie Kozlowski of Hop Bottom.
Rush Township reports two candidates for its single six-year supervisor seat, Donald Herman, Sr. and Charles Pierson, while Kevin Stockholm runs unopposed for the four-year seat. Jennifer Ramey also runs unopposed for auditor in that township.
Other county-wide seats in contention include Oakland Township Supervisor, where William Wynn and Jamie Rodriquez Chilewski both vie for the single opening, and Susquehanna Borough, where five candidates will battle for the four open four-year council seats. They are: Roberta Kelly, Allen Wolf, Deborah Zayas, David Scales, Sr. and Roy Williams.
In Auburn Township, both George Gregory and Eric Place run unopposed for supervisor and auditor, respectively, while in Bridgewater Township, Charles Mead and Peter Kane vie for one open supervisor seat. Also in Bridgewater, Dawn Arnold, Peggy Jerauld and Beverly Way run unopposed for auditor positions.
Dimock Township Supervisor seats are uncontested, with a six-year term slated for Matthew Neenan and the two-year seat for Charles Baker. Henry Spering runs unopposed for Dimock auditor, as does Thomas Vlachos for constable.
In Franklin Township, two supervisor positions are open, with Daniel Depue and Lee Burch running, and three auditor places, with Jeffrey Sammon, Catherine Chiarella and Carolyn Pratt running for those.
Jessup Township has Dennis Bunnell running for the one open supervisor slot, Brenda Bennett for auditor, and Diane Truman for tax collector.
In Lathrop Township, Paul Himka runs for supervisor, while Regina Evans runs for auditor. Daniel Jones runs unopposed for supervisor in Middletown Township, as does Robert Curley for auditor in the same township.
Montrose Borough also boasts uncontested seats, with Randall Schuster, Tom Lamont, Julianne Skinner and Tony Pickett running for councilman seats, while Darrell Sands will run for constable.
Springville Township ballots will also contain two unopposed supervisor candidates, Jerry Ainey and Duane Wood. A position most municipalities also seem to have trouble filling is constable. Auburn, Bridgewater and Middletown Townships all report their race is open. Other open fields include three auditor positions in Friendsville Borough and one each in Lathrop, Middletown and Springville Townships.
School board positions are also up for grabs in this election in Elk Lake and Montrose Area School Districts. Contenders for seats in Elk Lake include Chuck Place, current board president, Anne Teel, Matthew Curley and Alice Carr. In Montrose, Pamela Staats, Mary Homan and Kathleen Mordovancey run unopposed for their respective regions, while Chris Caterson, Douglas Wilcox and John Delaney vie for the two seats in Region 2, encompassing Bridgewater, Franklin and Liberty Townships. A two-year seat in Montrose’s Region 1, covering Jessup Township and Montrose Borough, is listed as open.
Wyoming Commissioners’, Sheriff’s Races Contested in Next Week's Election
By D.C. Koviack
Although it is a county and local election next Tuesday, most voters will likely go to the polls to cast their ballots for the next board of County Commissioners, and to choose a new County Sheriff. The majority of other races are unopposed.
Three commissioners’ seats are up for grabs, and four people are running, two Republicans and two Democrats. The three highest vote getters will win the chairs and be responsible for running the county for the next four years. Incumbent Judy Kraft Mead, Republican, is running for re-election, as is incumbent J. Stark Bartron, II, a Democrat. Vying for the third seat are Republican Tom Henry and Democrat Ron Williams.
Voters will be able to vote for only two of the four people running, and the numbers are expected to be close. Candidates for commissioner have all filed proper campaign expense reports and donation lists with the Election Office at the Courthouse. According to these figures, Williams has spent the most seeking election, just over $5,000; of that, $2,800 is listed as unpaid debt to himself and the remainder is listed as expenses including advertising, signs and contributions to various charitable causes.
Mead lists about $3,200 in expenses, including advertising and signs; Henry lists about $1,700 in expenditures, again for advertising and signage. Bartron lists $1,500 in expenditures for similar campaign literature and advertising; he lists a $500 contribution from the Democratic Party. Candidates’ expense and donation reports are not finalized until after the election.
Remaining on the County level, two candidates are running for Sheriff: Edward Ned Sherman, a Republican and Duane Marbaker, Jr., a Democrat. Sherman has run against incumbent Sheriff Richard Montross before and not won. Montross will finish out his term this year.
There are two seats open for County Auditor, and three people vying for the position. Judy Shupp, a Republican, William Eggleston, a Republican and Laura Dickson, a Democrat.
Prothonotary Karen Bishop, who has been Acting Prothonotary since last year’s departure of Paulette Burnside, is running unopposed for the position. Dennis Montross is running to retain his position as Register and Recorder.
In local races, Councilpersons and School Director candidates are running unopposed. Curiously, the Mayoral seat is open in Meshoppen Borough but no one is on the ballot for the job. Write-ins may decide who will be the Mayor of the small borough, and voters will have to wait until well after the election for results to be announced.
As in many other municipalities, three local polling places in Wyoming County have been re-located because of flood damage. In Meshoppen Borough, voting will take place at the Borough Hall not the Library. Both buildings sustained damage, but the library’s was too extensive to permit voting there.
In Forkston, the polling place has moved to the Grange Hall from the Township Building. And in Exeter Township, voters should go to the Township Building rather than the Fire Hall.
Polls in all precincts will open at 7 a.m. on Nov. 8 and close at 8 p.m.