There is only one Primary Election contest to be decided in the Palmerton area municipalities. That challenge is for the Democratic nomination for the position of mayor of Bowmanstown. Balloting will take place on Tuesday, May 21.
There are no challenges to the candidates running in Palmerton and Bowmanstown boroughs and Towamensing and Lower Towamensing townships. Likewise, the balloting for seats on the Palmerton Area School District Board of Education will be strictly "complimentary."
A breakdown of what to expect on the ballots in the Palmerton area communities includes:
Voters in Bowmanstown will see a new name on the ballot for the mayor's office, whereas there is a shortage of candidates for seats on the borough council, four of which are scheduled to be filled by the electorate this year.
Mayor Keith Billig's four-year term is expiring and he is not a candidate for the position. There are two persons aspiring to win the Democratic nomination, those being William H. Ravert, a current councilman, and Barry Pointon Jr. The winner of that race is likely to become the mayor for the next four years, since there is no Republican candidate.
In the borough council race, four four-year terms are set to expire and there are only three candidates. All of them are Democrats. They include Ravert and incumbent Burdell C. Steigerwalt and also Robert Moyer. Incumbents Chad Everett and Troy Muffley, whose terms are set to expire, are not candidates.
Tax collector Maria Smith, a Democrat, is running for re-election to her four-year term. She is unopposed. There is no GOP candidate.
The borough voters are also scheduled to elect a judge of elections and an inspector of elections, both for four-year terms. Republican Paulette M. Keiper is the lone candidate for judge of elections while there are no candidates for the inspector of elections post.
Voters in Palmerton face no election choices in the May Primary Election, but there will be plenty from which to choose in November. Expected to be filled by the electorate this year are five borough council positions, the office of the mayor and the tax collector's post. While there are no contests in the Primary, each of them will have challenges in the General Election.
Mayor Chris Olivia, a Democrat, is running for election to the four-year term as mayor. He is filling the seat by appointment, having succeeded Brad Doll, who resigned. Olivia is unopposed on his party's ticket but will face Republican Jereme J. Barkanic in November as he is unopposed on the Republican slate.
There are four four-year terms on the borough council to be filled, with two Democrats and four Republicans aspiring to the seats. On the Democratic side are incumbents Jason J. Behler and Kris W. Hoffner. The GOP candidates are incumbents Richard L. Nothstein and Michael J. Ballard and newcomers Lamont C. Musselman and Gerard J. Alfano. Ballard is filling the unexpired term of Randolph Gursky, who resigned.
Because of Olivia's elevation to the mayor's office, he vacated his seat on borough council, leaving a two-year term to be filled on the board. Democrat Holly F. Hausman Sell, who was appointed to succeed Olivia, is running unopposed on her party's ticket. There is no Republican candidate.
The two Democrats and four Republicans will square off for the four four-year seats on council in November.
There will also be a challenge for the tax collector's post, a four-year term. Democrat Diane Andreas is running again and is unopposed. She will face Republican Lisa Nemeth in the fall, as she is unopposed on the GOP slate for the position.
Palmerton voters will also elect judges of elections and inspectors of elections for four-year terms in each of the town's three election districts. The candidates are: District 48 - Democrat Sarina Berlow, for judge of elections, and Democrat Bernard Berlow and Republican Lisa Snell Kern, for inspectors of elections. There are no candidates for the positions in districts 47 and 49.
There are no election nomination challenged in Towamensing Township in the Primary Election. Two incumbents who are seeking re-election are unopposed both on their party's ballot, as well as on the opposite side.
Republican Penny Kleintop is running without opposition for another six-year term on the board of supervisors while Democrat H. Bruce Reiner is running unchallenged for a four-year term as tax collector. He was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Mary Beers, who resigned.
Township voters are also expected to elect three auditors, for terms of two, four and six years. There are no candidates on either ballot for the positions.
Towamensing voters will also elect judges of elections and inspectors of elections for four-year terms in each of the township's voting precincts. The candidates are: District 56 - Republican Michael Christman, judge of elections; and Democrat Wendy K. Hoppel and Republican Ricky R. Waibel, inspectors of elections; and District 57-2 - Democrat Natalie Kleintop, judge of elections; and Democrat Carolyn Andreas and Republican Mary Ann Shafer, inspectors of elections. There are no candidates for the positions in District 57-1.
Lower Towamensing Township
There are no contested races in Lower Towamensing Township for the Primary Election.
Two incumbents who are up for re-election are running again and both are unopposed on both tickets. They include Supervisor Ronald A. Walbert, who is aspiring to another six-year term on the board, and tax collector Connie D. Brown, who is seeking another four-year term.
The township voters are also expected to fill two auditor positions, one for a six-year term and the other for a two-year term. There are no candidates for either position.
Lower Towamensing voters will also elect a judge of elections and two inspectors of elections (one from each party) in each of the township's two election precincts. The candidates are: District 32 - Democrat Margaret "Midge" Klotz, judge of elections, and Republican Joseph A. Germy, inspector of elections; and District 33 - Democrat Louise M. Koons, inspector of elections.
Palmerton Area School Board
Four incumbents whose terms are expiring on the Palmerton Area School District Board of Education are running for re-election and face no opposition.
They include Darlene Yeakel, Clarence "Chuck" Myers, Barry W. Scherer and Susan Debski. They appear on both the Democratic and Republican ballots, where they are unchallenged.
Voters in Palmerton and Bowmanstown boroughs and Towamensing and Lower Towamensing townships comprise the district's at-large balloting.