Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Numbers


Before delving in the the numbers and the reasons behind them, I will offer my standard preface.  I try to avoid the word "loser."  There are winners, and candidates who didn't win.  Anyone who voluntarily enters the bruising and bloody world of politics and public service is not a loser.

We will attack the races in no particular order and will begin with the Democratic nomination for mayor of Scranton.  Incumbent Paige Cognetti ended the night with a massive vote total.  Our analyst, Corey O'Brien on WNEP 2 nailed it last night.  Corey said that John Murray needed to do more than say he is a lifelong Democrat and a Scranton native.  He needed to talk about the issues.  He didn't.  You saw what happened.  Even though Cognetti told me she has "no plans" to run for anything else, party bosses have to be looking at last night's impressive numbers and thinking Cognetti is an attractive candidate for other offices.

State Representative Marty Flynn wins the special election for state senate in the 22nd, replacing John Blake, who quit.  I thought Flynn would win in a walk, and that's what happened.  It's an easy win over Republican Chris Chermak.  Late intelligence had Green party candidate Marlene Sebastianelli being a spoiler, grabbing votes from Flynn and opening the door for Chermak.  Didn't happen.  Not at all.  Not even close. Lesson:  intelligence is often wrong.

It looks like Mary Walsh Dempsey versus Nisha Arora for an opening on the Lackawanna County Court of Common pleas.

In Luzerne County, Stefanie Salavantis, Tara Toohill and Alexandra Kokura Kravitz will fight it out for two seats on the bench.  Luzerne County was the real winner here.  All candidates, including the ones who didn't capture nominations, were rock solid.   Salavantis is a former district attorney.  Toohill is currently a state representative.  It is much easier being in a race when you have name recognition already in your pocket.

There was a race for the Republican nomination for sheriff in Lackawanna County.  Former Scranton Police Chief David Elliot couldn't use his name recognition to vault to a win.  Glenn Capman wins by about six points.

Max Conway, a political newcomer from a well known Dunmore family, captures the Democratic nomination for Dunmore mayor.  He defeats incumbent Nibs Loughney.  My spies told me this one depended on turnout and getting the younger crowd to the polls.  Conway apparently succeeded there.

It was Florida Fran versus Cheese in the race for the Democratic nomination for Register of Wills in Lackawanna County.  First, do we still need this office?  Pat O'Malley's political comeback derailed and it wasn't close.  The issues included Fran Kovaleski spending too much time away from the office and O'Malley's party jumping, coupled with a seemingly endless quest for a public office.  Voters chose Kovaleski.  I know O'Malley has a loyal legion of followers.  I'm a little surprised there wasn't more of them.

Loni Kavulich Loiselle wins the Democratic nomination for mayor in Taylor.  Her father is the late state representative, Sid Michaels Kavulich.  She breezed to victory.   There is a good story here.

As midnight approaches, the referenda limiting a governor's emergency powers are winning.  It's close.  This was an up or down vote on the way Gov. Wolf handled the pandemic, and it really appears voters are in favor of checks and balances on executive power.  Democratic candidates for governor next year should heed the warning.  The Associated Press declared "yes" the winner by mid morning Wednesday.

It was glitch aplenty day in Luzerne County, which seems to be the norm in recent years.  Why does this keep happening?  Questions need to be asked and issues need to be addressed.  Lackawanna County's vote numbers were on the slow side this time around.  What's up with that?