Voters in Carbon County gave a strong show of support for Democratic incumbents who hold row offices during a time when "change" is a clamoring term in much of the nation.
Every row office holder in the county was easily reelected yesterday. Every one is a Democrat.
Voter turnout in Carbon County was considered average for the election, with 13,130 of the county's 37,588 registered voters – or 34.9 percent – visiting the polls.
Of the six row office holders, four had challengers. All won by over 2,000 votes.
For county controller, Robert M. Crampsie (D) outpolled Howard Boehring, 6,695 to 4,512. He was first elected controller in 1991.
Recorder of Deeds Emmett P. McCall (D) topped Todd D. Koller, 7,045 to 4,970.
Bruce A. Nalesnik (D), coroner, who has held the position since 1995, won over veterinarian Renny Shoop, 7,092 to 4,867.
When Nalesnik won in 1995, he had been the first Democrat named coroner in more than 40 years to win that seat.
District Attorney Gary F. Dobias was unopposed in his reelection bid, netting 9,180 votes.
There were 41 write-in votes against him.
Joann M. Behrens, prothonotary, who had no opposition, got 8,769 complimentary votes.
There were 23 write-in votes.
In the heaviest challenged row office post, Sheriff Dwight L. Nothstein, who has been sheriff since 1995, topped Republican Steven H. Armbruster by a margin of 7,915 to 4,287.
Armbruster, although running on the Republican ticket, indicated his ideals were mostly of the Constitutionalist party.
He conducted a heavy advertising campaign in his challenge of Nothstein.
"I just want to thank the voters for coming out and voting in a way they feel it will help Carbon County," Nothstein said last night.
He said he never felt threatened by Armbruster's challenge, stating, "It's just a nuisance and I felt the better person would win. I have proven I work for the people of Carbon County."
Nothstein said he felt that Armbruster conducted a negative campaign. "The negativity is not welcome in politics," he said.
Besides the row offices, there were two races that affected the judgeships.
Attorney Joseph Matika of Lehighton was not opposed in his bid to become the third Carbon County judge of common pleas court.
He got 10,679 votes. There were 67 write-in votes for the spot.
On a retention vote, President Judge Roger N. Nanovic got 9,512 supportive votes.
There were 2,011 "no" votes cast.
Lisa Dart, director of the Carbon County Election Bureau, said yesterday's balloting ran smooth.
She noted she was sad, though, that one of the "rovers,"Kevin Cassidy, 53, of Jim Thorpe, died of health issues Thursday, five days before the election. He had battled lung cancer and leukemia.
She said rovers travel to different polling places and address various concerns.
He was one of four rovers in the county.