Rabenold wins Demo race in Carbon
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Ronald J. Rabenold, center, stands with his wife, Kimberly, and son, Nate, in the Molly Maguires Pub in Jim Thorpe during his victory celebration in yesterday's Primary Election. Rabenold, a Democratic candidate for the 122nd Legislative District, defeated Gerald Strubinger in yesterday's polling. He will oppose incumbent Republican Doyle Heffley in November.
Although Republican State Rep. Doyle Heffley (122nd legislative district, Carbon County) was unopposed in yesterday's Primary Election, party voters rallied and gave him incredible support.
Of the 3,932 GOP electors who cast ballots, a whopping 99.48 percent of them (3,912) voted for Heffley.
Meanwhile, on the opposite ticket, Democrat Ronald J. Rabenold, a newcomer to the political arena, also got a superb showing from his party, winning by nearly a 2-1 margin over his opponent.
Rabenold received 2,950 votes, or 64.89 percent of the Democratic ballots cast, while his opponent, Gerald F. Strubinger, netted 1,578 votes, or 34.71 percent.
As a result, Heffley and Rabenold will oppose each other in the November General Election.
Rabenold, 44, of Franklin Township, is a social studies and reading teacher at Lehighton Area Middle School. He is in his 20th year of teaching.
He retained a staunch political posture even after seeing the margin of victory, mentioning his reason for campaigning rather than celebrating the election success.
"We're happy," he said of the election tallies. "We worked hard. We have a lot of people who worked hard for us. We have very strong concerns about issues Gov. Corbett has caused."
He added, "I feel like the people of Carbon County deserve a representative that puts solutions ahead of ideology."
Heffley, of Palmerton, obviously was pleased with the support he received, remarking, "It was great in the Primary. I'm just really happy and thankful for the support.
"We had a lot of volunteers who braved the cold in our support at the polls," he said, adding that he and his wife, Kellie, visited most of the precincts.
Both Heffley and Rabenold are lifelong residents of Carbon County.
Rabenold is married to the former Kimberly Schleicher. They have two sons, Nathaniel and Jonathan.
He commented that there are numerous issues that he's anxious to address if he wins the November election.
"We're going to look at getting gaming money put where it was intended, for property tax relief," said Rabenold.
He added that another priority is addressing the "Delaware loophole." Under the corporate fiction of the Delaware tax loophole, local outlets of large national chain stores pay royalties to sister companies in other states, claiming the payments as business expenses, and then deduct the "expenses" from their Pennsylvania state income taxes.
"We want to make sure Marcellus Shale, if we can do it safely, that it brings the proper revenue to Pennsylvania," Rabenold stated.
"We hope to restore the service that Carbon County residents deserve and respect," he stressed.
Heffley and his wife have two daughters, Elizabeth and Angela.
He said he's "looking forward to the November election," adding, "I will continue to work for all the residents of Carbon County."
A priority, he said, is "working to create job opportunities."
Heffley pointed out, "I work across party lines with (Republican State Rep. David) Argall and (Democratic Sen. John) Yudichak.
He promised to work hard to continue obtaining funding for programs for such groups as senior citizens, veterans, fire companies, and other local organizations.
"Economic growth and job creation are priorities," he said. "There are residents of the community who are struggling right now."
He added that he will continue to retain his three district offices.
Of the overall election, he concluded, "All-in-all, for the Republican party, I think it was a good day."
This will likely be the final election that Carbon County is intact in the 122nd Legislative District. Under mandated legislative redistricting, Summit Hill borough is scheduled to be moved to the 124th Legislative District, which includes most of Schuylkill and part of Berks county, in 2014.