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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Vote 15: The Morning After

Another election is in the books.  Let's take a look at the numbers, who won, and why...

I'll confine the analysis to my back yard.

I have to admit I'm a bit surprised Jerry Notarianni wound up as top voter on the Democratic side, in the Lackawanna County Commissioner's race.  I give Notarianni credit for running a good campaign, touching on THE hot button issue of the campaign-- landfill expansion.  Notarianni is against it.  The odd man out, Jim Wansacz didn't take a stand, and it was revealed he took campaign donations from the landfill's owner.

Party hopper Pat O'Malley came in second.  I believed the party hopping would have a negative impact.  Maybe it did, but not enough to deny him the possibility of another term.

The bottom line on this one-- I thought the power of incumbency, name recognition and money would propel Wansacz and O'Malley to the top.  I was half right.

Tony George wins the Democratic nomination for Wilkes-Barre mayor.  No major surprise.  Wilkes-Barre has a crime problem.  George is a former cop.  Do the math.  He also ran a good campaign.

Tom Leighton's endorsed candidate, George Brown, had the credentials.  He didn't appear to have the fire.  It was a passionless campaign.  It's also likely the Leighton endorsement hurt more than helped.

In Hazleton, Joseph Yanuzzi lost the Republican mayoral nomination to Jeffrey Cusat.  Yanuzzi had the misfortune of following a very popular Lou Barletta in the mayor's office.  Like Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton has some crime issues, plus budget problems.    Yanuzzi paid the price.

Correale Stevens will not be returning to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  A strong legal mind, Stevens didn't have a strong statewide base.  Being from the Hazleton area hurt.  Big city candidates usually do well in statewide court races.

Mauri Kelley won a hotly contested race for Clerk of Judicial Records in Lackawanna County, on the Democratic side.  Former state representative Kevin Haggerty came in a close second.  Big money in a county row office race is not surprising.  Winning one election is equivalent to a lifetime gig.   Row office jobs rarely open up, especially in Lackawanna County.

As of this writing, Kelly Gaughan leads Ray Tonkin in the race for the Republican nomination for Pike County district attorney.  Tonkin caught a little heat for using accused cop killer Eric Frein in a mailer.  Even before that, the Fraternal Order of Police jumped ship and endorsed Tonkin's opponent, Kelly Gaughan.    Tonkin has a 100 per cent success rate in homicide cases, and that had to strike a chord with voters.   I'm betting on a recount.  I'm also betting Tonkin regrets the Frein mailer.

Turnout yesterday was fairly weak.  That's unfortunate.  I'm always unable to process why people fail to exercise their right and privilege to cast a ballot.

And, once again, Luzerne County numbers trickled in.  It's 2015.  You deserve better.