Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Vote 17: The Numbers

I will admit I was surprised by Gene Talerico's victory over Shane Scanlon in the race for the Republican nomination for Lackawanna County District Attorney.  Even though Scanlon was appointed to the post, incumbency is a powerful thing.  I noticed signs of trouble during the day-- a light turnout.  Talerico had a chance if his home territory, the down valley, came out and the rest stayed home.  I haven't seen the town by town breakdown.  I suspect that's what happened.  Talerico had some effective ads, smartly answering allegations made in a controversial Scanlon mailer.  Talerico had the experience, and that resonated with voters.  Scanlon made some mistakes. That mailer closely aligned him with county judges, giving the perception he's an insider.  Scanlon also refused to debate Talerico, and that made him look weak.  If that wasn't enough, people really didn't seem to like that an anti opoid public service campaign looked a lot like campaign commercials.  There was a perception Scanlon was promoting himself on the backs of drug abusers.

Talerico faces Mark Powell in November.  It should be an interesting race.

Janine Edwards, Wayne County's District Attorney won both the Republican and Democratic nominations for judge, again, proving that incumbency can be powerful.  People like law and order.  A county's top law enforcement officer running for judge can be tough to beat.  The same goes for Eric Linhardt in Lycoming County.

It appears big city candidates did well in races for seats on the state's appellate courts.  That's unfair in one respect.  Some very good legal minds, who live outside of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, often get left in the dust.  Electing judges is a good thing.  There is some accountability.  Maybe the state should be divided into districts.

It looks like Tim Buege edged out Pat Loughney for the Democratic nomination for Dunmore Mayor.  Loughney has been in the post for a very, very long time.  Voters apparently wanted change, and an old controversy over a DUI checkpoint didn't help.  The margin was razor thin.  There will be a recount.

Other than that, it was a slow night.  Turnout was light.  That's always disappointing.  I do understand it.  There were so many uncontested races.

I hope you voted.  I met some very nice and caring people at the polls yesterday.  Let's do it again in November.