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Carbon County voters make primary selections

With limited contested races from which to choose in a midterm election year, Carbon County voters had a dismal showing in Tuesday’s primary election balloting. Only 23.6 percent of the registered Republicans showed up to cast their ballots, whereas the Democratic turnout was even worse, showing just a 17.6 percent response.

The election ballot had only two Democratic and four Republican contests. In each of them, the county’s vote total was merely a part of a larger at-large region.

The Democratic races included one for the Pennsylvania 9th Congressional District, of which all of Carbon and Schuylkill counties are included, as are parts of six other counties. The other challenged race was for the lieutenant governor’s nomination.

Governor’s race

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, was unopposed Tuesday and tallied 740,866 votes across the state, with 99.51 percent of the state’s precincts having reported their results. In Carbon, Wolf collected 2,607 token votes.

He will face Republican Sen. Scott Wagner in November, the latter having won the GOP nomination with 323,637 votes. He defeated Paul Mango, 269,738, and Laura Ellsworth, 137,450. In Carbon, the totals were 1,994 for Wagner, 1,669 for Mango and 466 for Ellsworth.

U.S. Senate

Like Gov. Wolf, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey was also unopposed on the Democratic ballot. He received 742,924 votes statewide, including 2,658 in Carbon County.

Casey, who never lost a statewide election, will face Republican Lou Barletta, who won a two-person GOP race for that nomination. Barletta won 429,625 to 251,654 over Jim Christiana. In Carbon County, Barletta won by a vote of 3,827 to 341.

Lt. governor

Both parties had choices to make regarding who will stand alongside their gubernatorial candidate as the lieutenant governor nominees.

On the Democratic side, incumbent Lt. Gov. Mike Stack faced four opponents, and he was unseated by John Fetterman despite Stack having won in Carbon County. Overall, Fetterman tallied 287,988 votes, while Nina Ahmad was second with 182,108, followed by Kathi Cozzone, 142,113; Stack, 127,187; and Ray Sosa, 27,414. The Carbon vote totals favored Stack with 833 votes, followed by Fetterman, 712; Cozzone, 590; Ahman, 547; and Sosa, 126.

9th Congressional District

Democrat Denny Wolff and Republican Dan Meuser will square off in November for the two-year seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Wolff won with 11,020 votes, defeating Gary Wegman, 8,450, and Laura Quick, 7,616, while Meuser’s 26,568 was far ahead of the 12,032 that George Halcovage received, as well as Scoot Uehlinger’s 11,541.

In Carbon County, Meuser was high with 2,870 votes, followed by Halcovage with 767 and Uehlinger with 377.

Uncontested races

The rest of the candidates were unopposed, including Pennsylvania Sen. John Yudichak, who represents Carbon County in the state Senate. He received 2,847 token votes from Carbon County Democrats on Tuesday. Yudichak will not have a Republican opponent in November.

For the 122nd Legislative District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, incumbent Republican Doyle Heffley was unopposed, as was his Democratic challenger, Kara Scott of Bowmanstown. Heffley garnered 3,757 token votes from GOP voters while Scott collected 2,371 complimentary votes from her party voters. They will face each other in the general election for the two-year term that is up for grabs.

The district includes all of Carbon County, except for Summit Hill Borough, which was cut out of the district by the Republican-controlled legislature following the 2010 Census.

Summit Hill, meanwhile, was moved to the 124th District, where Rep. Jerry Knowles, a Republican, is the incumbent seeking re-election. He collected 178 GOP votes in Summit Hill. Knowles will not have a Democratic opponent in November.

Meanwhile, each party voted for memberships on their respective state committees. On the Democratic side, Carole Walbert was unopposed and collected 2,703 token votes.

Two GOP candidates were elected: Timm Berger collected 2,743 complimentary votes, 96 more than Sue Ann Gerhard, who tallied 2,647.