Voters in Schuylkill County will have a rare choice as there will be three candidates to chose from for the office of controller at the Municipal General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The 129 polling places in the county will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Incumbent Controller Melinda Kantner, North Manheim Township, is seeking re-election. Four years ago she won as a Democratic Party candidate but in the past four years she clashed with the Democratic controlled board of county commissioners and then chairman, Ed Kleha, removed her from the party's executive committee with the comment, "Your're not a Democrat.:"
The party also put up another candidate in the May primary, Brad Petchulis, who was unopposed. Christy Joy won the Republican Party's endorsement by defeating Eric Hollen, of Orwigsburg. Usually there are only two candidates in the general election, a Republican and Democrat.
Kantner bypassed the primary election, changed her party standing to an Independent and received sufficient signatures on a petiton to have her name on the ballot in the general election. Kantner has stated that the controller should be a person not obligated to any party so that he or she can perform their duties independently to oversee county spending of taxpayers money.
Joy and Petchulis are both CPA certified and both are involved in the food business, Joy in catering and Petchulis in managing a meat market. Both reside in Norwegian Township.
The contest for county commissioners is wide open as only current Minority Commissioner Frank Staudenmeier, a Republican, is seeking re-election. The other two commissioneres, both Democrats, Mantura Gallagher, who was the first woman to serve as chairman of the board, and Francis McAndrew, who for 16 years previously was the county sheriff, chose not to seek re-election after one term in office.
George Halcovage, Pottsville, who operates an insurance agency, is the runningmate of Staudenmeier.
The two Democratic candidates are, Gary J. Hess, Schuylkill Haven, who operates a catering service, and John Platchko Jr., Pottsville, a building contractor and brother of District Judge David Platchko.
Voters cast their ballot for just two. The candidate who finishes third in the balloting becomes the minority commissioner.
Incumbant Peter J. Symons, Jr., Butler Township, who has won the seat of prothonotary as a Republican 12 years ago and served two terms, won as a Democrat four years ago, is seeking re-election as a Democrat. It will be his fourth term if re-elected.
Symons is opposed by David J. Dutcavage, Minersville, a funeral director and who served as county coroner four years ago.
Clerk of Courts
Incumbent Stephen M. Lukach Jr., Lake Hauto, a Democrat, is seeking re-election to his eight term. He is opposed by Brad Gotshall, Frackville, Republican, his first venture into politics.
Register Of Wills
Incumbent Michael M. McCord, Saint Clair, Democrat, is seeking his second term.
He is being opposed by Theresa Santai-Gaffney, Pine Grove, Republican, a former supervisor of the nursing department at the Good Samaritan Hospital, Pottsville. It is her first venture into politics.
Incumbent Joseph Lipsett, Pottsville, Democrat, a former state trooper, is seeking re-election as county coroner.
He is opposed by David J. Moylan, Auburn, a practicing physician, making his first bid for a political office.
Two Republican office holders are unopposed as they seek re-election to another four year term.
County Treasurer Jackie McGovern, Auburn, is seeking her fifth term and Recorder of Deeds A. Matthew Dudish, Pottsville, is going after his fourth term. The Democrats failed to put up any candidates in the primary election.