Schuylkill County voters split their ticket in Tuesday's general election by electing the Democratic county candidates for district attorney and sheriff, but voting Republican for the judges of the three highest courts, according to unofficial returns. The vote was surprisingly light with only 35,444 of the 93,728 registered voters going to the polls, a disappointing 36.2 percent showing.
Incumbent James P. Goodman, Democrat, won re-election to a second term as district attorney by winning the post by more than 3,000 votes over his opponent. Goodman polled 17,910 votes to his opponent, Attorney Christine A. Holman, Republican, who received 14,549 votes.
Joseph G. Groody, Democrat, was elected to his first full four-year term as sheriff. He garnered 16,267 votes while his opponent, Dale L. Repp, Republican, received 15,718 votes. It was the closest race on the county ballot.
Groody, a former Ashland police officer, was appointed sheriff to fill the unexpired term of Francis McAndrew, who resigned when elected county commissioner. Repp was a former chief of police of Pottsville. This was his first political venture and he almost pulled the upset.
Voters meanwhile favored the Republican candidates for all three higher courts.
In the Pennsylvania Supreme Court contests, Joan Orie Melvin, Republican, received 15,480 votes while Jack Panella, Democrat, garnered 15,094. Melvin won statewide which gives the Republican Party the majority on the Supreme Court.
In the contest for Pennsylvania Superior Court, four were to be elected. The vote total for the county was, Robert J. Colville, Democratic, 11,571; Kevin F. McCarthy, Democratic, 13,071; Anne E. Lazarus, Democratic, 11,697; Teresa Sarmina, Democratic, 10,489; Judy Olson, Republican, 16,724; Sallie Mundy, Republican, 16,253; Temp Smith, Republican, 12,028; Paula Ott, Republican, 14,440; and Marakay J. Rogers, Libertarian, 2,898. Statewide the winners were Anne E. Lazarus, Democratic; and Judy Olson, Sallie Mundy and Paula Ott, Republican.
In the contest for the Commonwealth Court two were to be elected. The county vote was, Barbara B. Ernsberger, Democratic, 11,903; Linda S. Judson, Democratic, 12,170; Patricia McCullough, Republican, 16,355 and Kevin Brobson, Republican, 14,374. The two Republicans won statewide.
There were no contests for the seats of jury commissioner or in two magisterial districts.
The two incumbent jury commissioners were reelected, Edward M. Eddie Kleha, Democratic, 12,594 votes; and Peggy E. Zimmerman, Republican, 18,463 votes, which was the highest votes received in the county election.
Incumbent District Justice David A. Plachko received 442 Democratic and 311 Republican votes and Incumbent District Justice Anthony J. Kilker, received 591 Democratic and 263 Republican votes. Both were unopposed as both won nominations of both parties in the primary election.