Tuesday's special Primary Election balloting in parts of Carbon and Schuylkill counties resulted in a change in nominations for four four-year terms on the Hazleton Area School Board that are up for grabs this year.
The re-election was ordered by the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas earlier this year after the May 21 Primary Election was held with a candidate's name on the ballots in those two counties after he had withdrawn from the race.
As a result of yesterday's balloting – in which only those who voted on May 21 were eligible to recast their ballots – one candidate who lost the earlier election is now back in contention for a seat on the board.
That candidate is Carmella Yenkevich, one of the persons who petitioned the court after the name of Steven Hahn appeared on ballots in Carbon and Schuylkill counties. After Hahn withdrew from the race, Luzerne County election officials failed to notify Carbon and Schuylkill county officials of the withdrawal and the election took place with Hahn receiving over 500 votes.
The re-vote allowed Yenkevich, who previously lost on both ballots, to win a Democratic nomination as she received enough votes to surpass Jared M. O'Donnell to win the fourth nomination by a margin of 1,630 to 1,614. In the May election, Jared was an eight-vote winner over Yenkevich.
With that being the only change in the order of finish, three candidates won nominations on both tickets and are in solid positions to win seats in the November General Election. They are James G. Chapman, Bob Mehalick and Clarence John.
In the special balloting, O'Donnell retained the GOP nomination he won in May, meaning he and Yenkevich will square off in November for the fourth seat on the board.
Combined with vote totals from Luzerne County in May, the new order of finish on each ballot is as follows:
Democrats – Mehalick, 2,004; Chapman, 1,945; John, 1,862; Yenkevich, 1,630; O'Donnell, 1,614; Fred Mariano, 1,406; and Thomas J. Chirico, 1,373.
Republicans – Mehalick, 1,651; O'Donnell, 1,618; Chapman, 1,544; John, 1,475; Yenkevich, 1,442; Chirico, 1,417; and Mariano, 1,145.
In a very low turnout yesterday, Carbon County voters from Banks Township and Beaver Meadows Borough recorded the following results:
Democrats – Chapman, 108; Yenkevich, 103; O'Donnell, 85; John, 79; Mehalick, 71; Chirico, 44; and Mariano, 34.
Republicans – Chapman, 35; Mehalick, 34; Yenkevich, 33; John, O'Donnell and Mariano, 21 each; and Chirico, 13.