The ballot for Sharon City Council is one of several in Mercer County that isn’t filled with names of candidates.
On paper, or with today’s space age technology, on the touch screen, first-term Sharon Councilman Bill James has the primary ballot all to himself, unless a write-in candidate emerges.
James, a Democrat, is the only partisan candidate for three seats up for grabs this year on the city’s five-person council.
Although he’s the only person on the ballot, he isn’t the only candidate, however.
Councilman Ed Palanski, an independent, is also seeking re-election, but independent’s don’t run in the primary.
Council President Victor Heutsche’s seat is also up for election this year, but Heutsche is running for Mercer County Common Pleas Court judge instead and opted not to run for a council seat he’d have to give up if his bid for judge is successful, he said.
No other candidates have emerged as of yet, although Mercer County Elections Director Jeff Greenburg said another person has made inquiries about the race.
“I don’t ever remember there being just one,” Greenburg said of the race, or lack thereof, in Sharon.
“The numbers of candidates are down county-wide,” he said.
The possibility exists that another independent, or even a third-party candidate might come forward, Greenburg said.
A write-in candidate would need 100 votes in the primary to get on the fall ballot, Greenburg said.
According to Sharon’s Home Rule Charter, the top two vote-getters in the fall election garner four-year seats on council, while third-place rates a two-year term on the board.
Council members Frank Connelly and Tom Burke aren’t up for re-election this year.
The Pennsylvania Primary is May 21 this year.
For a list of candidates for other offices, visit www.mcc.co.mercer.pa.us/election/homepage.htm