3 area residents seeking convention delegate posts
A Presidential election year also brings with it balloting in congressional districts for persons who aspire to be a part of the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
That will be the case on Tuesday, April 24, when Pennsylvania holds its Primary Election, during which time area residents will appear on the ballot as candidates for delegate positions within their party's structure.
On the Democratic side, William O'Gurek Jr. of Summit Hill, who is the chairman of the Democratic Party of Carbon County, is running to become a delegate to the Democratic National Convention to be held Sept. 3-6 in Charlotte, N.C. His name appears first among the candidates aspiring to represent the 17th Congressional District.
On the Republican side, Gretchen Sterns of Orwigsburg and Maria Montero of Tamaqua, are candidates as delegates to the Republican National Convention to be held Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla. They too reside in the 17th Congressional District.
The road to become a delegate to the national conventions, during which time the major parties officially nominate their candidate for president, is different in each party.
On the Democratic side, since President Barack Obama is the incumbent and the lone candidate, the Pennsylvania delegation is determined more as an "invited" candidate process than other elections, whereby those who aspire to become a delegate among GOP hopefuls have a more competitive battle.
O'Gurek was selected by the Pa. Democratic Party to be one of four males to represent the 17th District.
Four females will also be elected.
Since the party "invited" only enough candidates as there are delegate positions, those who appear on the ballot are virtually assured to win the delegate positions.
One male will also be elected as an alternate delegate.
In the 11th Congressional District, four males and three females will represent the Democratic Party in Charlotte.
Meanwhile, winning a delegate position within the Republican party may be more difficult. In the 17th Congressional District, Sterns and Montero are among 14 candidates, only three of which will become delegates.
In the 11th Congressional District, there are 15 candidates for three positions.
The GOP voters will also select three alternate delegates in each district.
Joining O'Gurek as Democratic candidates for delegate positions in the 17th Congressional District are Elizabeth Bettinger, Schuylkill County; Walter Garvin, Northampton County; Roxanne Pauline, Todd O'Malley, Rosemary Boland and Evie Rafalko McNulty, all of Lackawanna County; and Thomas Shubilla of Luzerne County.
Alexander Bryan Altieri of Northampton County is the lone candidate for the alternate delegate position in the district.
The Democratic candidates for delegate in the 11th Congressional District are David Gliddon of Luzerne County; Irwin Aronson, Diane Bowman, Helen Spence, George Hartwick III and Amy Putnam, all of Dauphin County, and A. Michael Pratt of Cumberland County.
Besides Sterns and Montero, Republican candidates for delegate in the 17th Congressional District are Anthony Antonello and Trent Miller, both of Luzerne County; John Manko, Mary Rose McAndrew Spano, Rose Ann Gaetano and Charlie Spano, all of Lackawanna County; Daniel Daub, Scott Thomas, Mary Beth Dougherty and Eltgad Roces, all of Schuylkill County; and Robert Kerr and Tricia Mazzacappa, both of Northampton County.
Sterns and Montero are also running for alternate delegates to the convention, as are Mary Rose Spano, Gaetano and Charlie Spano, all of Lackawanna County; Mary Barket of Northampton County; and Thomas, Daub, Dougherty and Greg Sheeler, all of Schuylkill County.
In the 11th Congressional District, the GOP candidates for delegate are Randolph McPherson, Debra Etzweiler, Kathy Evans, Evan Reichley, Jeff Haste, Lowman Henry and Jeff Piccola, all of Dauphin County; Michael Harrison, William Urbanski, Jeffrey Cusat and Scott Henry, all of Luzerne County; Donald Ely of Northumberland County; and John Gordner, Michael Anderson and Joseph Zapach, all of Columbia County.
GOP candidates for alternate delegate in the district are John Rodgers, Sean Shamany, Holly Anderson and Scott Henry, all of Luzerne County.