Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Summing Up

It appears the last votes have been counted.  The official vote count takes place later this week.  I'm sure there will be a few recounts along the way.  Candidates have the option of asking if irregularities turn up.  There is an automatic trigger in the very close races.

My area of specialty is the eastern part of our coverage area, and here are a few thoughts on what we learned last night.

I don't think I've every witnessed an election with so many candidates, with so much negative baggage.  It goes from the statewide judicial races all the way down to counties, to cities, even down to little borough councils.  You always get the "they're all bums" argument from disenchanted voters.  I heard it more often than usual this year.  And, yes, there are decent and honorable candidates out there.

Democrats jumped out to early leads in all of the statewide court races.  As Joe Peters pointed out on WNEP 2 last night, that wasn't unusual.  We'll see if the leads hold, and if the new elected judges can clean up the mess in Pennsylvania's highest courts.

In a lot of races, the winners weren't surprising, but the margins were.

Tony George cruised as mayor of Wilkes-Barre.  Frank Sorick put up a good fight, but he didn't generate solid numbers.

Luzerne County DA Stefanie Salavantis easily won a second term over Vito DeLuca.  It was Salavantis' first try at re-election, and she was vulnerable.  DeLuca's campaign, in a heavily Democratic county, never gained traction.  Salavantis did OK in Democratic strongholds and cemented her lead in other parts of the county.

Notarianni and O'Malley easily walk into the Lackawanna County commissioner's office.  As of this writing, Laureen Cummings is running ahead of Bill Jones for the third spot.  It appears Charie Spano's write in campaign hurt the other Republican, Bill Jones.  The Republican side of this race was nasty in the primary, and it continued into the fall.

Speaking of Lackawanna County Republicans, the party really needs to get its act together.  They didn't put up candidates for row offices, and that is a shame.  Voters deserve a choice.  Lackawanna County Republicans couldn't field a unified team for commissioner, and the white flag of surrender went up early and often.

On the other hand, Republicans own Schuylkill County.  Perhaps they can offer some advice to the GOP in Lackawanna County.

A Republican stays in the Hazleton mayor's office.  Jeff Cusat beat incumbent Joe Yanuzzi in the spring, and he captured the office last night.  Jack Mundie was the Democrat.

As of this writing, the contest for Pike County DA is very close  Incumbent Ray Tonkin lost to Kelly Gaughan in the Republican primary.  Tonkin won the Democratic nomination via write ins, setting up yesterday's re-match.  It appears Tonkin has achieved a narrow victory.  This could have been the most fascinating race of the night.

Pike County voter turnout was large, and that was the exception to the rule.  Voter turnout was embarrassingly bad in most places.

And once again, there are several counties here in our area that do a lousy job counting votes.  Numbers trickled in, barely, in a lot of places.

There will be updates here as more outcomes become clear.