In what appeared to be a head-to-head matchup of two major party candidates for a six-year term on the Penn Forest Township Board of Supervisors has materialized into a four-person race.
That's because two persons have filed nominating petitions as independent or minor party candidates in the Carbon County Board of Elections to have their names placed on the ballot for the township position.
After the May Primary Election, it appeared Democrat Christine Fazio would go head-to-head with Republican Salvatore L. Baldassano for the position, after Fazio defeated two other candidates to win the Democratic nomination. She collected 149 votes to defeat incumbent Supervisor Harry Connolly and a third candidate, Keith L. Knappenberger. They received 122 and 112 votes, respectively. Baldassano was unopposed on the GOP ticket and received 284 token votes.
Under Pennsylvania election law, Independent candidates of political bodies can file nomination papers after the Primary Election but are required to obtain signatures equal to two percent of the largest vote cast for any elected officer in that district at the last preceding election, or the number of signatures required on a nomination petition for a political party candidate (10), whichever is greater.
In the township's case this year, persons seeking to get on the ballot would have had to secure 10 or more signatures, since that is the number of signatures required on a nomination petition for a political party candidate and the 10 is greater than two percent of Baldassano's 284, which would have been 6 signatures.
Prior Aug. 1, the last day to circulate and file nomination papers nominating by Independent candidates or minor politcal party candidates, the two persons who gained the right to be on the ballot include Matthew C. Schutter, 116 Stony Creek Road, Jim Thorpe, who will appear as a Libertarian candidates, and Raymond R. Royer, 93 Bluejay Drive, Jim Thorpe, who will run for supervisor as an Independent.
Schutter, who is listed as a student on the occupation line of the nominating paper, collected 22 signatures. Royer, whose occupations are listed as a firefighter for the City of Allentown and an entrepreneur with Royer Mechanical Services, collected 39 signatures.
Both candidates also filed with the elections office completed candidate's affidavit and a copies of the Statement of Financial Interests as required by the State Ethics Commission.