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Borough will have new mayor, council members

The Borough of Lehighton will have a new mayor and two new council members after Tuesday’s general election balloting, when two incumbent members of the town’s governing board were defeated.

Elsewhere in the Lehighton area balloting, voters settled contested races for seats on the Franklin and Mahoning township boards of supervisors, as well as the mayor’s position in the Borough of Parryville.


Clark Ritter, a Republican who defeated current Mayor Thomas L. Mase in the primary election, will be the town’s new top executive, winning a challenge from Democrat Douglas J. Nothstein. Ritter, a retired state police officer, garnered 547 votes to easily outdistance Nothstein’s 299 total.

In the council race, three four-year terms were up for grabs Tuesday, when incumbent Democrats Scott T. Rehrig and Helen Torok went down in defeat.

Topping the ballot in that race was Republican newcomer Autumn Abelovsky, who collected 582 votes, while incumbent Democrat Joe Flickinger won the second spot with 431 votes and another GOP newcomer, Ryan R. Saunders, won a seat with 394 votes.

Rehrig finished fourth with 343; Torok, fifth with 320; and Republican Denise Murphy, sixth with 314 votes.

Tax collector Mary E. Strohl, a Republican, was unopposed in pursuit of another four-year term of office. She collected 784 votes to easily top the town’s ballot.

Franklin Township

Republican Jason Frey was a huge winner in the race for the six-year term on the Franklin Township board of supervisors.

He easily defeated Democrat David F. Bradley Sr. by a vote of 756 to 179.

Sara J. Keiser, Franklin’s tax collector, ran on both ballots to be re-elected to another four-year term and received 952 complimentary votes, topping the Franklin ballot.

The only other candidate on the township’s ballot Tuesday was Republican Howard R. Boehringer Jr., who received 757 complimentary votes to be elected to a six-year term on the board of auditors.

Mahoning Township

Republican Robert Slaw defeated Democrat Nevin Frey to win a two-year term in the Mahoning Township board of supervisors. The tally was 453 to 386.

Two other positions on the board were up for grabs, including a six-year term and a four-year term. The lone candidate for each of the positions was unchallenged.

For the six-year term, Republican Bruce R. Steigerwalt collected 659 token votes to win re-election, while Democrat Myron Zeke Blahy won the four-year term without opposition with 465 votes.

Tax collector Pauline F. Homm ran again for another four-year term. She won both the Democratic and Republican nominations in the primary election and collected 756 complimentary votes.

Mahoning voters were also scheduled to decide the six-year term on the township’s board of auditors and granted 668 token votes to the lone candidate, Republican Wallace Putkowski.


For the first time in as long as anyone can remember, there was a contested race in the Borough of Parryville.

In that contest, Democrat Kevin L. Greenzweig defeated Republican Dean Emery by a vote of 73 to 17 to win the four-year term as mayor.

Otherwise, the borough was short on candidates. There were four four-year terms to be filled on the borough council. The lone candidate, Democrat Sharon K. Hinkle, collected 68 complimentary votes.

No one ran Tuesday for the four-year term as tax collector in the borough.

East Penn Township

There were no races in East Penn Township this year. Township voters filled two supervisors’ seats, both for six-year terms, as well as that of the tax collector and two positions on the board of auditors.

The only two candidates for the seats on the board of supervisors were Republicans Steven C. Heckman and John M. Strockoz. They collected 402 and 354 votes, respectively.

Longtime tax collector Thomas N. Beck, a Democrat, ran for another four-year term and received 428 complimentary votes to top the township’s ballot.

The auditor positions are for six- and four-year terms. Republican Lee Becker ran unopposed for the six-year term and received 446 token votes while there were no candidates for the four-year term.

Weissport Borough

There was only one candidate on the municipal ballot in Weissport. Brenda E. Leiby, a Democrat running for one of three four-year terms on the borough council, received 34 votes.

Otherwise, no one ran for either the mayor’s office or to be tax collector in the borough. Both positions are four-year terms.

Editor’s Note: The vote totals reported in this story do not necessarily include the results of absentee votes. The county elections bureau reported the vote totals are unofficial and subject to the tabulations of the absentee ballots that were not able to be counted in some races last night due to technical difficulties with scanners used to count the absentee ballots.