Argall and Knowles fight off challenges, win party nods
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Sen. David G. Argall, and Rep. Jerry Knowles celebrate their primary election victories last night in Tamaqua with their respective wives, Beth Argall and Lorraine Knowles.
The Republican voters of the 29th State senatorial District rewarded state Sen. David G. Argall for all the services he had performed while serving in the state house by selecting him over a tough opponent, Brian Rich, a newcomer, to be the party's nominee in the general election in the fall, according to the unofficial returns from Tuesday's Primary Election.
The two candidates split the six counties that voted in the district, but Argall victories in Schuylkill, where the entire county voted, keyed his victory.
In Schuylkill County Argall received 8,933 votes to Rich's 7,059. There were 93 write-in votes which will be identified when the county's computing board meets beginning next Friday to make the official count of votes cast in the county election. The 29th District comprises all of Schuylkill and parts of Carbon, Lehigh, Berks, Monroe and Northampton counties.
Argall managed 1,065 tallies in Carbon to defeat Rich and also won in Berks 1,159 to 931. Rich won in Lehigh, 686 to 574, Monroe, 550 to 460, and Northampton, 417-283.
The unofficial total had Argall getting 12,474 to 10,521 for Rich.
In the only other local contest, Jerry Knowles, the incumbent from the 124th state legislative district, won over Larry J. Padora for the party's nomination.
In Schuylkill County, Knowles, of Hometown, received 3,237 votes to Padora's, of New Ringgold, 2,430. There were eight write-ins.
In Berks County, where the northern end of the county votes in the district, Knowles got 1,203 votes to 943 for Padora.
This was also a somewhat heated campaign. It also was evident that Knowles, who succeeded Argall in the seat when Argall won a runoff for the state senate seat, ran a joint campaign while Brian Rich, who opposed Argall, and Padora ran like a team.
Republican Mike G. Tobash, the representative from the 125th Legislative District, was unopposed and received 5,412 votes in winning the party's nomination. There were 56 write-in votes. The district covers the area from Pottsville to Tower City.
The GOP failed to pick a candidate to run for the seat in the 123 Legislative District, however, there were 285 write-in votes which may produce a candidate for the fall election. The district covers the Mahanoy City-Shenandoah area.
In the highly contested contest for U S. Senator, Tom Smith garnered the majority of votes in Schuylkill County, 5,048. The votes for the other four candidates were, Sam Rohrer, 5,006; Steven D. Welsh, 2,343; David Alan Christian, 1,498; and Marc A. Scaringi, 2,343. There were 166 write-ins.
In the presidential contest, Mitt Romney, the likely Republican candidate, received 8,465 votes. Rick Santorum, who had withdrawn as a candidate, received 3,683 votes; Ron Paul 2,132; and Newt Gingrich 1,528. There were 171 write-in votes.
David J. Freed, unopposed for state attorney general, received 12,662 votes and there were 150 write-in votes.
In the GOP contest for state auditor general, Frank A. Pinto received 7,447 votes in the county and John Maher, 5,928. There were 52 write-in votes.
In the race for GOP nod for state treasurer, Diane Irey Vaughn, unopposed, received 12,687 votes and there were 70 write-in votes.
There were 14 candidates running with only three to be elected as delegates to the Republican National Convention to be held in August in Tampa, Fla. They ran in the 17th Congressional District. There vote in Schuylkill County was as follows:
Anthony M. Antonello, Luzerne County, 2,653; John Manko, Luzerne County, 2,082; Daniel L. Daub, Schuylkill County, 3,830; Mary McAndrew Spano, Lackawanna County, 2,897; Robert Kerr, Northampton County, 2,362; Trent Miller, Luzerne County, 2,739; Gretchen D. Sterns, Schuylkill County, 3,669; Rose Ann Gaetano, Lackawanna County; 1,788; Charlie Spano, Lackawanna County, 1,346; Maria Montero, Schuylkill County, 2,467; Scott R. Thomas, Schuylkill County, 4,151; Mary Beth Dougherty, Schuylkill County, 5,784; Eltgad S. Roces, Schuylkill County, 865; and Tricia J. Mezzacappa, Northampton County, 1,184. There were 182 write-ins.
There were 10 candidates running as alternate delegates with three to be elected. Their vote in the county was as follows:
Mary McAndrew Spano, Lackawanna County, 3,532; Mary T. Barket, Northampton County, 3,490; Rose Ann Gaetano, Lackawanna County, 2,238; Scott R. Thomas, Schuylkill County, 4,751; Daniel L. Daub, Schuylkill County, 3,940; Mary Beth Dougherty, Schuylkill County, 5,473; Charles Spano, Lackawanna County, 1,856; Gretchen D. Sterns, Schuylkill County, 3,662; Maria Montero, Schuylkill County, 2,924; and Greg Sheeler, Schuylkill County, 3,272. There were 163 write-ins.