Nine candidates ran for the office of county commissioner in Schuylkill County and the four top vote getters in Tuesday's Primary Election, two each on the Republican and Democratic ballots, will now face off in the General Election next November with the top three vote getters winning three commissioner seats.
Winning the nomination on the Republican ballot were Frank Staudenmeier, the current minority commissioner who will be seeking to be elected to his third term, and newcomer to politics, George Halcovage, an insurance agent.
Staudenmeier was high vote getter with 7,422 votes and Halcovage polled 6,258. Other candidates on the Republican ballot were Larry Padora, of New Ringgold, who is assistant chairman of the Schuiylkil lCountuy Republican Party, received 5,532 votes; and Darlene D. Dolzani, former county financial officer, polled 3,544.
Winning the nomination on the Democratic ballot were Gary J. Hess, mayor of Schuylkill Haven, who was high man with 6,155 votes; and John Plachko Jr., a building contractor, received 5.589 votes. Finishing out of the running were Christian Morrison, Mayor of Tamaqua, with 3,046 votes; Laine Mack, Tremont council president, with 2,677 votes; and Jeffrey J. Dunkel, Mayor of Mount Carbon, with 1,732 votes.
The commission race attracted the big turnout because the two incumbent majority Democratic commissioners, Mantura Gallagher and Francis McAndrew, chose not to seek re-election. It will be Staudenmeier and Halcovage versus Hess and Platchko in the general election.
In the contest for the Republican nomination for county controller, Christy Joy, a caterer received, 8,279 votes to defeat Eric Hollen, a banker, who received 4,551 votes.
Joy will square off in the general election next November against Brad Petchulis, who manages the Marlin Meat Market in Norwegian Township, who was unopposed on the Democratic ballot and received 9,475 votes. A third candidate is expected to enter the race in November, Incumbent County Controller Melinda Kantner, who will be running as an independent candidate.
Other county seats
There was no contests for the nomination in the remaining county seats and they will oppose each other in the general election.
County Treasurer, Incumbent Jackie McGovern, was nominated on the Republican ballot receiving 12,255 votes. The Democrats did not put up a candidate, however, there were 259 write-in votes which will be tabulated beginning Friday by a county computing board. For another candidate to get the Democratic nomination they would have to receive 250 write-in votes.
Prothonotary, David J. Dutcavich, a funeral director, was unoppsed on the Republican ballot and received 11,663 votes. He will oppose Incumbent Peter P. J. Symons Jr., seeking his fourth term, who received the Democratic nomination with 10,132 votes.
Clerk of Courts Brad Gotshall, making his first run in politics, was unopposed on the Republican ballot garnering 11,506 votes. He will go up against Incumbent Stephen Lukach Jr, seeking his eighth term, who was unopposed on the Democratic ballot and received 10,269 votes.
Register of Wills, Theresa Gaffney, former supervisor of the nursing department of the Good Samaritan Hospital, was unopposed on the Republican ballot and polled 11,418 votes. She will oppose Incumbent Michael M. McCord, seeking his second term, who was unopposed on the Democratic ballot and received 9,943 votes.
Recorder of Deeds, Incumbent A. Matthew Dudish, seeking his fourth term, was unopposed on the Republican ballot and received 12,077 votes. The Democrats had no candidate and there were 259 write-in votes.
For county coroner, David J. Moylan is making his first venture into politics, was unopposed for the Republican nomination and received 11,469 votes. He will oppose Incumbent Joseph Lipsett, seeking his second term, who was unopposed on the Democratic ballot and received 9,679 votes.