Storms Curb Turnout and Slow Wyoming County Election Results


Story by Rick Hiduk / Google Map

(Also published in the Rocket-Courier)

Severe storms raked through Wyoming County on Tuesday afternoon, cutting power to numerous municipalities, including Tunkhannock, where traffic also came to a virtual standstill. Nonetheless, voting resumed and, as of 10:15 pm, only the results from Northmoreland Township had not been included in the unofficial tally for the 2018 Primary Election.

With 28 of 29 precincts counted on Wednesday morning, 57 percent of registered Republicans and 27 percent of registered Democrats had been to the polls – nearly 16,000 voters in all.

For the most part, results from Wyoming County for state contests mirrored totals issued for the Commonwealth as a whole, the exception being lieutenant governor candidate Mike Stack’s respectable showing among Democratic voters in Wyoming County at 27 percent, compared to 16 percent statewide, where he came in fourth, well behind assumed nominee John Fetterman. Nina Ahmad, a Bangladeshi immigrant and women’s rights activist, came in second among both Wyoming County voters and the majority of Pennsylvania Democrats. Governor Tom Wolf and U.S. Senator Bob Casey ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket.

Republicans in Wyoming County followed the party lead by giving Lou Barletta the most votes for the senate contest and Scott Wagner their collective nod to run against Wolf in November. Jeffrey Bartos was the clear winner among Republican voters in Wyoming County and the state for the Republican seat for the lieutenant governor race. Pennsylvania is one of few states where the top spots are separate contests.

While Wyoming County Democrats rallied for 12th Congressional District candidate Judy Hershel, giving her 81 percent of their votes, she was trailing contender Marc Friedenberg by about 300 votes in the statewide tally on Wednesday morning. A winner had not yet been declared in that contest. Tom Marino was declared the winner of the Republican nomination for the 12th District, beating contender Doug McLinko with 67 percent of the statewide vote.

McLinko is a commissioner in Bradford County, where he took 61 percent of the vote. He did not fair as well in Wyoming County, where the tally was reversed. Marino captured 62 percent of the Wyoming County vote, some exceptions being Braintrim Township, Laceyville Borough, and Meshoppen Borough at the western end of the county. McLinko’s best showing was in Laceyville, which shares the Wyalusing School District with Bradford County, where he garnered 64 percent of the votes cast.

There were numerous Democratic party committee seats up for grabs but few registered candidates. The only true contest was in Falls Township #2, where the apparent winner as of Tuesday evening was Jeffery Zimmerman over Nadia Villanueva with 52 percent of the 57 votes cast there. On the Republican side, county auditor William Eggleston handily eclipsed contender Joe Strauch for the State Committee nomination with 65 percent of the vote.

State Sen. Lisa Baker and Rep. Karen Boback ran virtually unopposed in Wyoming County with no Democratic contenders. Winners a some 300 write-in votes were not available at press time.

Wyoming County director of elections Florence Kellett reported on Thursday morning that all precincts had been counted and that there were no serious problems. “The election was challenging, but we made it through,” she remarked.


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