Monday, May 14, 2007

No Primary Republican Candidate for Fayette Controller

Maybe we should do a write-in campaign for the new wife of sitting county commissioner Joseph A. Hardy III

Joe Hardy heading to Las Vegas to marry third wife

If she gets enough votes, (250 is the requirement for announced candidates for nomination petititons) she gets the spot on the blank Republican side of the ballot for Fayette County Controller.

Come to think of it, anybody whose name appears on that side with the (required) majority vote would get the spot!

Fayette election bureau

Lebder sizes up primary ballot
By Amy Zalar, Herald-Standard
Updated 05/15/2007 12:06:07 AM EDT
The Fayette County commissioner race will draw the majority of interest from Democratic voters in Tuesday's municipal primary, according to the county's party chairman.

Longtime Fayette County Democratic Party Chairman Fred Lebder said there is interest in the county commissioners race because of the personalities involved and a lack of opposition for other incumbent row offices, with the exception of controller, clerk of courts and sheriff.

It's an interesting primary," Lebder said. He said although there are five candidates seeking the two Democratic county commissioner nominations, the contest is between three candidates, namely incumbent Commissioner Vincent A. Vicites, former Commissioner Sean M. Cavanagh and Vincent Zapotosky, a former coordinator of constituent services for two congressmen. Cavanagh and Zapotosky have formed a team, while Vicites is running on his record of the last 12 years.

Lebder said the other two candidates, John "Sonny" Mikita and John "Toots" Croftcheck, would not factor much into the race.

The Democratic race will feature three of the same individuals as 2003. Lebder said an "amazing" statistic of four years ago is the fact that 9,149 Democratic voters, or 17.02 percent of those who took to the polls, did not cast a ballot for any county commissioner candidate. Lebder surmised that voters were "turned off" with the commissioner's race four year ago, and some may have just voted for school director, road supervisor or auditor candidates and not county commissioner.

Lebder said in the 2003 primary, Vicites was the top vote getter with 13,847 votes; Bill Lincoln got 9,406 votes; Cavanagh got 8,452 votes, Zapotosky got 7,961 tallies and then-Commissioner Ronald M. Nehls received 4,949 votes.

Lebder said while it is not unusual for voters to not cast votes for any commissioner candidate, it happened at a greater number four years ago. He said if Cavanagh, Lincoln or Zapotosky had gotten the 9,000 votes, they would have led the ticket, and if Nehls had gotten the votes, he would have secured a position on the fall ballot.

Lebder, a 33-year head of the Democratic Party and 28-year county commissioner, ran advertisements in favor of Lincoln four years ago, and this year has only run an ad supporting Zapotosky.

In other contested races, incumbent Controller Mark Roberts is facing a challenge from Sean P. Lally, clerk of courts incumbent Janice Snyder is challenged by Gary Crozier, and Sheriff Gary Brownfield is facing opposition from Robert "Ted" Pritchard Sr.

"Others are running with no opposition," Lebder said. Those running unopposed include District Attorney Nancy Vernon, Prothonotary Lance Winterhalter, Coroner Dr. Philip Reilly and Register of Wills Donald Redman.

In one of the more hotly contested primary races, six area men are vying for magisterial district judge in Uniontown. Incumbent Mark L. Blair will square off against Gary N. Altman, Dan Campbell, Ronald K. Machesky, Michael M. Metros and Brian Miller for the four-year post on the Democratic ticket. All the candidates, with the exception of Miller, cross-filled as Republicans as well.

Lebder said four years ago the voter turnout was 44 percent, and this year it will "run about the same," predicting the turnout could go as high as 46 percent. Lebder said although there have been two elections with the new electronic voting machines, some people are still apprehensive about using the machines. "Once you do it they are simple," Lebder said. He urged anyone hesitant to use the machines to go ahead and vote, and ask the judge of election for help.

On the Republican ballot in Fayette County, the only individuals seeking countywide positions are incumbent Commissioners Joseph A. Hardy III and Angela M. Zimmerlink, who are seeking their party's two nominations...

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