MERCER — With no sheriff candidates in last week’s primary, Democrats in Mercer County attempted to put Thomas Johnston on the general election ballot with a write-in campaign.
That venture proved to be unsuccessful.
In a race that attracted more than 2,200 write-in votes, Johnston lost to Bruce Rosa by a margin of 1,264 to 669, according to figures released Friday by the Mercer County Department of Voter Registration and Election. Rosa, a former Sharpsville police chief, defeated Anthony Tedesco for the Republican nomination.
The unofficial tally gives Rosa the nomination of both parties, all but assuring that he will be Mercer County’s next sheriff, replacing Sheriff Ro ni Shilling, who was appointed to the office last year and did not run for election.
Two other successful Republican row office candidates also won Democratic nominations by write-in votes, leaving them with no opposition on the November general election ballot.
Coroner John Libonati, who was unopposed for re-election in the primary, logged 262 Democratic write-in votes.
District Attorney Pete Acker, appointed to the post in February after former DA Miles Karson was convicted of obstruction of justice and official oppression, had 628 Democratic write-in votes. Acker defeated Dustin Cole for the Republican nomination.
Recorder of Deeds Dee Dee Zickar was unopposed for the Republican nomination and nobody won enough Democratic write-in votes to be included on the ballot in November.
Incumbent Prothonotary Ruth Bice, a Democrat, did not face opposition in her party’s primary, and no candidates had enough Republican write-in votes to win the GOP nomination.
Mary Jo Basilone DePreta faced no opponent in the Democratic primary for clerk of courts and will not be opposed in the fall either after no one won enough Republican write-in votes. She is all but assured of replacing Clerk of Courts Kathleen Kloos, who is retiring after her present term expires.
Under state election law, write-in candidates require a total vote count equal to the number of petition signatures necessary to be included on the primary election ballot. For most county offices – including sheriff, district attorney and coroner – a candidate would need 100 write-in votes to win.
In elections for most municipal and school district offices, the threshold is 10 votes.
With only two candidates – Richard Rossi and Mary Reames – on the ballot for Greenville Area School Board, Richard Powers, Nathan Gibson and Dan Eppley won Democratic nominations. Gibson, Powers and John Forbes claimed Republican nominations. Eppley, Forbes, Gibson, Powers, Reames and Rossi will compete in November for five open seats on the school board.
Kelli Mayer won write-in nominations in both parties for Jamestown Area School Board. Beverly Riley, Tracie Rae Runyon and David Volosin were on the primary ballot, leaving a total of four candidates for five school board vacancies. The eight remaining school board members would appoint a ninth member to fill the vacancy after November’s election.
Gage Bartholomew, who graduates Friday from Lakeview High School, tallied 18 Democratic write-in votes, to win both parties’ nomination for the district’s school board. Bartholomew, Jimmy Lee Arbogast, Steven Beggs, Scott Lewis and David Pears won nominations on both parties’ tickets.
J. Bradley Miller and Christopher G. Osborne won write-in nominations in both parties for the Delaware Township and Fredonia region of Reynolds School Board.
With vacancies for five four-year terms and one two-year term, the remaining nominees had been on the primary ballot. Christopher Reeher of West Salem, and Brian Hills and Brian Paolucci of Pymatuning are all but assured of winning full terms on the board, and Michael Gearhart of Pymatuning is unopposed for a half-term.
Michael Yeatts, a son of Mercer County President Judge Robert Yeatts, won Republican and Democratic nominations for Clark borough council.
Yeatts and Douglas Robbins tied, with 13 votes each, for council Democratic nominations. Republican Cameron McConahy and Democrat Clark Eberhart, who were on the ballot, and Yeatts and Robbins will be on the November ballot vying for three vacant seats on council.
Other write-in winners were: Daniel P. Nagel, Republican Delaware Township supervisor; John Slemenda Jr., Democratic French Creek supervisor, six-year term; Gavyn Korinko, Republican French Creek supervisor, 2-year term; Carol Burt, Republican French Creek auditor; Tracy Beil, Democratic Greenville Council; Eugene Swartz, Democratic Jackson Township supervisor; Garth Falkner, Democratic Jefferson Township supervisor; Homer Johnson, Republican Lackawannock supervisor; Harlowe Mattocks, Democratic Mercer council; John Canon, Otter Creek Township supervisor; Leonard Grandy, Republican Sharpsville council; Michael Weiser, Shenango Township supervisor; Joseph Mattace, Republican Springfield Township supervisor; Chris Ewing and Roger Patterson, Republican Stoneboro council; Eric Lucich and Maleia James, Republican West Middlesex council; and Rayburn Campbell, Republican Wilmington Supervisor.
The county election department will break ties stemming from the election with a casting of lots at noon Friday in the Mercer County Courthouse assembly room. The drawing will include candidates for the Coolspring Township supervisor Republican nomination, where Dale Bestwick and Mark Skidmore were deadlocked at 96 votes.
The drawing also will determine November ballot placement for ties in races where both candidates will be included on the November election ballot.
Mercer County Election Board will give first approval for the election results in a meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the assembly room. The board is scheduled to declare the election results official in a meeting at 9 a.m. June 10 in the assembly room.
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