GOP controls Schuylkill; lose one county race
The Republican Party regained control of the Schuylkill County courthouse by capturing all but one office, according to the unofficial returns of Tuesday's Municipal General Election. Despite the warm and sunny day, only 40.42 percent of the registered voters went to the polls.
Incumbent County Commissioner Frank Staudenmeier, who is the current minority commissioner, will once again become the majority commissioners after Jan. 1, a position he held before being reduced in rank in the election four years ago.
Staudenmeier was high vote-getter in the commissioner race, polling 16,989. His running mate, George Halcovage, a newcomer to Pottsville, received 15,897 votes.
Gary J. Hess, current mayor of Schuylkill Haven, finished third in the voting with 14,101 and will be the new minority commissioner.
Hess, a Democrat, ran with John Plachko Jr., who finished last with 12,361 votes and loses out. There were three commissioners to be elected.
The lone Democrat to win a "row" office seat was incumbent Clerk of Courts Stephen Lukach, who beat Brad Gotshall, a newcomer to politics who ran as a Republican.
Lukach polled 17,422 to be elected for a seventh four-year term. Gotshall received 13,396 votes.
In the three-way race for county controller, Christy Joy, Republican, was the winner with 14,040 votes, beating out Brad Petchulis, a Democrat, who polled 11,789 votes.
Incumbent controller Melinda Kantner, who ran as an Independent, came in third with 5,775 votes.
Incumbent Prothonotary Peter P.J. Symons, Democrat, seeking his fourth term, was defeated by David J. Dutcavage. Symons polled 14,985 votes and Dutcavage 15,815.
Dutcavage lost out four years ago as county coroner while Symons, who was a Republican for two terms, switched and won four years ago for a third term as a Democrat.
Incumbent Register of Willis Michael M. McCord, a Democrat, lost to Theresa Gaffney, a Republican. McCord polled 14,561 votes and Gaffney 15,811.
Two Republican officeholders were unopposed. Treasurer Jackie McGovern was re-elected to her fifth term receiving 25,695 votes and Recorder of Deeds A. Matthew Dudish received 25,708 votes to be re-elected to his fourth term.
Incumbent County Coroner Joseph Lipsett, a Democrat, lost to Dr. David J. Moylan, a Republican. Lipsett received 15,155 votes and Moyland 15,550 votes.
Current District Attorney James P. Goodman, a Democrat, who was unopposed after winning the nomination in the primary election of both the Republican and Democratic parties, was elected a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas with 27,771 votes. There were 517 write-in votes in opposition.
He will assume the seat vacated by Judge D. Michael Stine, who retired last January and worked as a senior judge in the county court.
Two county judges ran on the retention ballot.
Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin received 22,718 "yes" votes and 6,424 "no" votes. Judge Charles M. Miller received 22,690 "yes" votes and 6,196 "no" votes. Both were retained for another 10 years.
One new district justice was seated.
Christina E. Hale was unopposed and received 4,632 votes to be elected to Magisterial District 21-2-01, which covers Frackville-Ashland area. She fills the seat vacated by District Justice Bernadette Nahas, who retired.
Incumbent District Justice James R. Ferrier, also unopposed, received 6,808 votes to be re-elected to Magisterial District 21-3-03, which covers the Orwigsburg area.
Incumbent District Justice Stephen J. Bayer, also unopposed, received 3,103 votes to be re-elected to Magisterial District 31-3-06, which covers Tamaqua area.
Incumbent District Justice Jimmy Reiley, also unopposed, received 3,175 votes to be re-elected to Magisterial District 21-3-07, which covers the Pottsville area.
In the contest for a seat on the Pennsylvania Superior Court the county voters gave Vic Stabile, Republican, 14,820 votes and David N. Wecht, Democrat, 14,151 votes. Wecht won the seat.
In the contest for a seat on the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court the county voters gave Anne Covey, Republican, 17,159 votes and Kathryn Boockvar, Democrat, 11,7218 votes. Covey won the seat.