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2019 primary election: Carbon will have several contested races this year

Published March 22. 2019 10:38AM

Eight people are seeking three available four-year terms on the Carbon County Board of Commissioners in the 2019 municipal election.

In addition to that race, there will be five contested county office races in November.

In the May 21 primary, there will be nominations to be decided on both the Democratic and Republican tickets for commissioner, as well as a contest on the GOP side for clerk of courts.

As a result of the filing of nominating petitions, here is what voters will see on their ballots:


Three Democrats and five Republicans are aspiring to win nominations on May 21. Each party will nominate two candidates, who will square off on Nov. 5, with the top three vote-getters winning the offices.

The Democratic candidates are Robert “Bob” Jacobs, Palmerton; Rocky Ahner, Lehighton; and Shawn M. Kresge, Jim Thorpe. Incumbent Democratic Commissioner William O’Gurek is not seeking re-election.

The Republican candidates are incumbents Wayne E. Nothstein, Lehighton; and Tom Gerhard, Weatherly; as well as Chris Lukasevich, Jim Thorpe; Jason Frey, Lehighton; and Tom Boyko, Lansford.


Democrat Thomas J. “TJ” McCall III, Summit Hill; and Republican Mark Sverchek, Lehighton, are running unopposed in May and will face each other in November.

District Attorney

The candidates are incumbent Democrat Jean A. Engler, Jim Thorpe, and Republican Michael S. Greek, Nesquehoning. Greek is an assistant district attorney in the office who this year changed his party registration to run against Engler.

Clerk of Courts

Democrat Francine Heaney, Nesquehoning, who was appointed to the position by Gov. Tom Wolf, is running for the remainder of the two-year term left by the resignation of embattled former clerk of courts William C. McGinley, who is facing six felony charges for stealing money from the office. Heaney is unopposed, and awaits the winner of a Republican primary battle between Tyra Boni, Jim Thorpe, and Kathy McGuire, Jim Thorpe.

Recorder of Deeds

Incumbent Democrat Emmett P. McCall, was running for re-election, but he died unexpectedly on March 13. His name will remain on the ballot. However, Billy O’Gurek Jr., Summit Hill, chairman of the Democratic Party, said the party will select a candidate to carry the party’s torch in November, where that person will meet Republican candidate is Donna L. Gentile, Jim Thorpe, who is unopposed in the primary.


Democratic incumbent Prothonotary Joann M. Behrens, Jim Thorpe, is unopposed within her party and will face Republican Kayla Semmel, Lehighton, the unopposed GOP candidate, in the Nov. 5 general election.


Incumbent Sheriff Democrat Anthony J. Harvilla, Tresckow, is unopposed on the Democratic and Republican sides and is virtually assured re-election.


Like Harvilla, incumbent Coroner Democrat Robert W. Miller Jr., Lehighton, is without opposition from either party and is likely to be assured a second term of office.

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