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2019 primary election: Boni wins only contested race in Carbon County

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Published May 22. 2019 12:22PM


There was only one contested row office race in Carbon County on Tuesday, although token votes for unchallenged Democrats and Republicans set the stage for general election showdowns for five offices.

In the contested primary balloting, Tyra Boni of Franklin Township defeated Kathy McGuire of Jim Thorpe to win the Republican nomination for the two-year term as clerk of courts.

Boni, who is the first deputy Register of Wills, tallied 2,772 votes to win the nomination, that number being 569 more votes than the 2,203 total for McGuire, who previously served as first and second deputy clerk of courts under the administration of embattled William C. McGinley.

McGinley retired in 2018 and was subsequently arrested for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the office. He was replaced by Gov. Tom Wolf with Francine Heaney of Nesquehoning. A Democrat, she was unopposed on Tuesday and received 3,852 token votes from party voters.

Boni and Heaney will square off in November, with the winner of that race to earn the final two years of McGinley’s term.

Other row offices

Meanwhile, six other row offices are up for grabs in 2019, including controller, recorder of deeds, coroner, district attorney, prothonotary and sheriff.

Democrats Anthony Harvilla of Tresckow and Robert W. Miller Jr. of Mahoning Township, who are running for their second terms as sheriff and coroner, respectively, were unopposed both on the Democratic and Republican tickets in Tuesday’s balloting. Harvilla received 3,853 complimentary votes while Miller tallied 3,818. While there were no GOP candidates for those offices, both Harvilla and Miller had write-in initiatives and could very well have also secured the respective GOP nominations since there were 246 write-in votes for sheriff and 215 write-in votes for coroner. To win that nomination, a candidate must get 100 or more write-in votes, or more than a challenger.

In the other races, Democrat Thomas “TJ” McCall of Summit Hill and Republican Mark Sverchek of Lehighton were unopposed in pursuit of their parties’ nominations for the four-year term as controller. Current Controller Robert M. Crampsie of Summit Hill is retiring from that position. McCall collected 3,542 token votes while Sverchek tallied 4,337.

There will be a recorder of deeds race in November as well, as the late Emmett P. McCall of Lansford, who passed away earlier this year, received 3,542 complimentary votes. The Democratic Party will get to name someone to take his ballot position. That person will run against Republican Donna L. Gentile of Jim Thorpe, who was unopposed Tuesday and collected 4,200 votes.

The district attorney’s office will be contested in November. Incumbent Jean A. Engler of Jim Thorpe, will face her deputy, Michael S. Greek of Nesquehoning. Engler received 3,750 votes as being unchallenged on the Democratic ticket. Greek, who was running on the Republican ticket, garnered 4,309 token votes.

There will be one other general election battle, that being in the prothonotary’s race. Incumbent Democrat Joann M. Behrens of Penn Forest Township was unopposed Tuesday and received 3,854 token votes. The GOP candidate who was unopposed and will face Behrens in November is Kayla Semmel of Mahoning Township. She tallied 4,168 complimentary votes.

Besides the clerk of courts race, all of the other races are for four-year terms.

In other balloting in the county, both parties participated in balloting for nominations for seats on the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

The Democrats gave Daniel McCaffery 2,082 votes; Beth Tarasi, 2,076; and Amanda Green-Hawkins, 1,467. Republican votes in Carbon went to Rebecca Warren, 3,086; Megan McCarthy King, 2,046; and Christylee Peck, 1,665.

Two people will win nominations in each party. With 99.36 of the statewide precincts reported in as of this morning, Green-Hawkins, 461,665, is leading the Democratic race, while McCaffery is second with 388,705, and Tarasi is third with 366,368 votes. On the GOP side, McCarthy King is ahead with 365,814 votes, Peck is second with 344,464, and Warren is in third place with 317,824 votes.

County officials reported approximately 4,800 Democrats and 5,800 Republicans participated in the balloting, which is a percentage rate of 28.84.


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