Both parties featuring races for commissioner
Next Tuesday's Primary Election will determine the slate of candidates hoping to run local governments and in Schuylkill County, there are a number of contested seats for voters to ponder.
The election is also different from other years as neither of the parties, Republican or Democratic, endorsed candidates where there are contests. It is every candidate for himself.
The Republican Party has been under new leadership since last summer when Joseph Stears took over for Robert Ames as the party chairman. He designated the Primary Election to be open to all candidates with the party supporting the winners in the fall election.
The Democratic Party, after great success four years ago when they captured control of the courthouse, are currently in disarray. Their chairman, Ed Kleha, resigned in the midst of the current campaign and the executive committee decided only to endorse the candidates who have no opposition, leaving those who have contests to be on their own.
In the contest for county commissioners, with two to be nominated by both parties, there are contests on both ballots.
Four candidates are seeking the two nominations on the Republican ballot. Frank J. Staudenmeier, Ashland, is the only current commissioner seeking re-election. The two Democratic commissioners, Mantura Gallagher and Francis McAndrew, are not running.
Also running on the Republican ballot for are Darlene D. Dolzani, Orwigsburg, who was the former financial officer for the current commissioners; and Larry Padora, New Ringgold, and George Halcovage, Pottsville, who are making their first venture into the political ring.
Padora, a baker involved in his family business, is also the assistant chairman of the county Republican Party while Halcovage is in the insurance business.
The candidates for county commissioner on the Democratic ballot are Laine Mack, Tremont councilman; John Platchko Jr., Pottsville, contractor; Gary J. Hess, mayor of Schuylkill Haven; Christian P. Morrison, mayor of Tamaqua; and Jeffrey J. Dunkel, mayor of Mount Carbon.
There is a contest for Controller on the Republican ballot between Eric Hollen, of Llewellyn, Branch Township, branch manager for Wells Fargo Bank in Pottsville, and Christy Joy, Pottsville, food caterer.
Brad Petchulis, Marlin, Norwegian Township, manager of the family business known as Marlin Meat Market and treasurer of the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority, is unopposed for the Democratic nod.
After many disputes with the Democratic Party following her election four years ago and many disagreements with the county commissioners, Melinda Kantner, the current controller, plans to run as a Independent to regain her seat in the November election.
In the race for Prothonotary, the incumbent, Peter J. Symons Jr., Ashland, is unopposed on the Democratic ballot. Running unopposed on the Republican ballot is David J. Dutcavage, Minersville funeral director and former county coroner.
Seeking re-election as Register of Wills is Michael McCord, of Saint Clair, on the Democratic ballot. Running uncontested on the Republican ballot is Theresa Santai-Gafney, Friedensburg, a private home health nurse and former department supervisor for the Good Samaritan Hospital in Pottsville, now the Schuylkill Medical Center.
Seeking re-election as county coroner is Joseph Lipsett, Minersville, who is unopposed on the Democratic ballot. David J. Moylan, South Manheim Township, is unopposed on the Republican ballot.
Seeking re-election as Clerk of Courts is Stephen M. Lukach Jr., Lake Hauto, who is unopposed on the Democratic ballot. Running unopposed on the Republican ballot is Brad Gotshall, of Frackville.
Two Republican officeholders, Jacquelyn McGovern, South Manheim Township, treasurer, and A. Matthew Matt Dudish, Pottsville, Recorder of Deeds, do not have opposition in the Tuesday's primary. On the Democratic ballot, there are no candidates. McGovern is seeking her fifth term as treasurer and Dudish his fourth as deeds recorder.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m to 8 p.m.