MERCER — While the Nov. 5 municipal general election won’t be a “participation trophy” event with everyone winning, it will come close, even in the contested races.
There are 23 contested races in Mercer County for the upcoming election, but there will be only one loser each in 22 of them.
Except for the Grove City Area School Board race, where seven nominees are seeking five seats, the number of candidates exceeds the number of available seats by one.
Mercer County Department of Voter Registration and Election posted the list of candidates for the Nov. 5 primary election this week on its website.
The ballot also includes races for Pennsylvania Superior Court, where four candidates are vying for two bench vacancies, retention votes for four sitting Superior Court judges and a referendum for a proposed amendment, dealing with the rights of crime victims, to the state Constitution.
Mercer County’s most-watched races will be for county commissioner and Common Pleas Court judge.
For commissioner, all three incumbents — Republicans Scott Boyd and Matt McConnell, and Democrat Tim McGonigle — are running against Democrat Dr. Robert Multari.
With two seats on Mercer County Court of Common Pleas vacant since the end of 2017, Ronald Amrhein, Margaret Lucas and state Rep. Tedd Nesbit, are seeking election as judges. Amrhein won both the Democratic and Republican nominations in the May primary. Lucas claimed the second Democratic nomination and Nesbit, R-8, Grove City, prevailed in the Republican race.
No other county row officer races are contested, with Coroner John Libonati, Prothonotary Ruth Bice, Recorder Dee Dee Zickar all unopposed for re-election. District Attorney Pete Acker, appointed in February to the chief prosecutor’s post, is also unopposed.
Mary Jo Basilone DePreta has no opposition for Clerk of Courts, and Bruce Rosa won both the Republican and Democratic nominations for sheriff in the May election.
In the most competitive municipal race this year, seven candidates are seeking five seats on Grove City Area School Board. Board president Constance Nichols and fellow incumbents Michael O’Donovan, Roberta Hensel and Dr. Armando Sciullo will run alongside newcomers Ryan Thomas, Lee McCracken and Douglas Gerwick.
The election also features contested contested school board races in Greenville, Hermitage, Lakeview and Sharpsville school districts.
Municipal races with contested races are Clark, Coolspring Township, Delaware Township, French Creek Township, Greenville, Grove City, Jefferson Township, Mercer, Pymatuning Township, Shenango Township, South Pymatuning Township, Springfield Township, Sugar Grove Township and West Middlesex.
In addition to the full-term races in those municipalities, voters for South Pymatuning Township supervisors and Greenville Council will cast ballots on candidates for two-year terms.
Election officials also posted a video for using the county’s new voting systems on the county’s website. Starting with this election, Mercer County will use paper ballots counted in each precinct by optical scan counters, and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ballot-marking devices.
The video is the beginning of voter outreach to help residents use the new devices. The election department will tour Mercer County to offer demonstrations and have machines set up at the courthouse.
Mercer County’s ballot list can be found online at https://www.mcc.co.mercer.pa.us/election/ElectionGuides/2019.UMOVA.General.Notice.pdf
Mercer County’s video voting machine demonstration can be found online at https://www.mcc.co.mercer.pa.us/election/help/how.to.vote.html