Monday, September 10, 2007

Commissioner Candidate Joe Hardy Steps Out

This news really isn't so shocking - but coming before the election in November, it is puzzling. One would have thought Joe Hardy would have waited until after he was actually re-elected to bow out, and then have a replacement named...

Hardy won't seek Fayette commissioner seat

Hardy ends re-election bid

The Herald-Standard article notes:

It is unclear who may be named to replace Hardy on the November ballot. Only Hardy and county Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink sought the Republican nomination in the primary election.

The Tribune-Review notes:

Given Hardy's late exit from the race, Nobers could not say if Hardy's name will appear on the ballot in November. The deadline for nominated candidates to withdraw was Aug. 13, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State's Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation.


According to news reports Hardy can petition the local county court to have his name removed from the ballot and likewise, the local Rep. Party can petition to extend deadlines for placing a name on the ballot.

This might be fair had Hardy become incapacitated, or an emergency situation arisen.

That didn't happen, so why should one Party basically get to name another candidate, who possibly won't have all the "negatives" the other candidate possessed?

How is this fair to Independents, who must meet all election requirements and deadlines to "play."


Sampson will be Hardy replacement on ballot

By Michael Cope
Daily Courier Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
A former courthouse aide to millionaire Fayette County Commissioner Joseph Hardy will replace the 84-year-old as a GOP nominee in November.
Charmaine Sampson was appointed Tuesday by the Fayette County Republican Committee to run for commissioner alongside GOP incumbent Angela Zimmerlink.

Veteran incumbent Vincent Vicites and newcomer Vince Zapotosky are on the Democratic ticket. An independent candidate, Marilyn Cellurale, is vying for one of the three seats.

Sampson was chosen by secret ballot from a field of four nominees, including Fred Junko, Jim Griffin and Ron Romeo...

Hardy makes it official on plans to bow out of election
By Liz Zemba
Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fayette County Commissioner Joe Hardy has given official notice of his intent not to seek re-election.

The first-term Republican announced on Sunday he would withdraw from the race for a second term. On Wednesday, he filed a petition with the county prothonotary's office indicating he will ask a judge to remove his name from the ballot.

Hardy, the founder of 84 Lumber Co., needs a judge's approval because the deadline to withdraw his nomination was Aug. 13.

Hardy's attorney, Cheri Bugajski Bomar, will formally present the petition 9 a.m. Monday during motions court. In the petition, she indicated Hardy is withdrawing "for personal and community reasons."

GOP will have two names on November ballot
By Amy Zalar, Herald-Standard


Hardy must petition the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas to officially withdraw his name from consideration, and the Republican Party must also file a petition with the court to extend the deadline for nomination certificates and then submit another name, according to Mark Rowan, solicitor for the Fayette County Republican Party.

"There will still be two Republican candidates on the ballot," Rowan said. However, he said the second name will not be determined until likely sometime next week. The second Republican candidate will be determined by a vote of the members of the Fayette County Republican Committee.

Rowan said he is anticipating that Hardy will be permitted to withdraw by the court, although the issue is not common. "This doesn't come up very often and there is not a lot of guidance," Rowan said.

Leslie Amoros of the Pennsylvania Department of State said because it is a county office, and not a statewide position, how the issue will be handled is really in the hands of the county and not the state. "It's really the call of the county," Amoros said.

Update 9/11/2007

Fayette GOP seeks Hardy stand-in
By Liz Zemba
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lumber magnate Joe Hardy's withdrawal from the race for Fayette County commissioner has left Republicans scrambling to find a replacement candidate, but Democrats say it will have no effect on their campaign leading up to the Nov. 6 election...


The deadline for Hardy to withdraw his name from the ballot has passed, but a judge can grant a request to extend the deadline, said Laurie Lint, director of the Fayette County Election Bureau. The GOP committee must petition the courts to extend the deadline to add a replacement candidate.

Richard Grimaldi, GOP chairman, said the party is in the process of drawing up its petition. The challenge, he said, is to find a candidate to replace one of Hardy's stature.

"We have to find a verifiable candidate, one we feel can win this election," Grimaldi said. "We have to get our troops together and get moving."

Grimaldi had no information yesterday on potential candidates, but he said the party would take into consideration any suggestions from Hardy. Nobers said Hardy might throw out some names, but only if the party seeks him out...

Previous Postings

Neither article mentions another entry into the race for county commissioner. This isn't an endorsement, merely pointing out that another candidate, an Independent, Marilyn Cellurale was apparently slighted in the news coverage and may not have been asked by the newspaper reporters how the Hardy action might effect her campaign...

Considering the county voter registration favors Democrats by 4 to 1 ratio, the former Democrat's campaign could be more viable to registered Dems. Voters can select two choices. Democrats who want to see a return to a Democrat majority but don't want to select a second among the two Primary picks, may have another choice in Cellurale.

Hardy's dropping his name from the ballot could swing Democrats who otherwise would have voted for him to Cellurale over whomever is named as Hardy's replacement...

Tribune Review article excerpt

Hardy won't seek Fayette commissioner seat
By Brian C. Rittmeyer
Monday, September 10, 2007

Fayette County Commissioner and 84 Lumber founder Joseph Hardy announced during a campaign rally Sunday that he is withdrawing from the commissioners race.
About 1,200 Hardy volunteers and supporters attended the rally, which doubled as a Steelers game day party, at the Fayette County Fairgrounds.

During halftime, Hardy's campaign manager and spokesman, Jeff Nobers, stood at the podium with Hardy and broke the news. Nobers said the crowd was saddened by the unexpected announcement, but supportive and understanding.

Hardy, 84, a Republican, is serving his first four-year term as commissioner. Nobers said Hardy went on with the rally as a way to thank his supporters.

Hardy had announced in March that he intended to run for re-election. He and fellow Republican Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink ran unopposed for two GOP nominations in the spring primary.
Their election in 2003 gave the GOP its first majority in the commissioners' office since January 1936, but the two rarely voted together on controversial issues or board appointments.

Given Hardy's late exit from the race, Nobers could not say if Hardy's name will appear on the ballot in November. The deadline for nominated candidates to withdraw was Aug. 13, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State's Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation.

Herald Standard article excerpt

Hardy ends re-election bid
By Patty Yauger, Herald-Standard

DUNBAR TWP. - In a surprising move Sunday, Fayette County Commissioner Joseph A. Hardy said he could better serve the area as a private citizen and will withdraw his name from the November general election ballot.

The announcement came at a campaign rally at the Fayette County Fairgrounds where several thousand of both Republicans and Democrats had gathered in support of Hardy's second run for the seat.

Hardy, 84, was flanked by his daughter, Maggie Hardy Magerko, and other supporters on the dais as his campaign manager Jeff Nobers released the information to the crowd.

"As the campaign really started to get into high gear, he started to ask himself what is the best way for him to serve the county for the next four years, and the answer was as a private citizen," said Nobers, adding that the discussion about his withdrawal from the race was only begun within the past two days.

The founder of 84 Lumber Co. and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa in Farmington has often been criticized by the media for his lack of attendance at meetings and accessibility, said Nobers, but rarely acknowledged for his successes.

"We all know politics is a business and there is a need for politics. But one thing for certain, (Hardy) is not a politician," he said. "He is a visionary who says these are the things we need to do and marshals the resources and people to get it done.

"He is not one that likes to go through layers of approvals, committees and all the things that typically take place in the political arena."


It is unclear who may be named to replace Hardy on the November ballot. Only Hardy and county Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink sought the Republican nomination in the primary election.

Hardy and Zimmerlink were to square off against Democratic candidates Vincent Zapotosky and Commissioner Vincent A. Vicites, who was also seeking re-election...


5 to run for Fayette county commissioner seats
By Liz Zemba
Friday, August 3, 2007

A Fayette County businesswoman has entered the race for county commissioner as an Independent candidate.
Marilyn Cellurale, of Lemont Furnace, filed nominating papers with the county election bureau on Wednesday, the last day to file. She listed her party as "Cellurale County Commissioner."

Cellurale, owner of the family-run Cellurale Garden Center on Route 119 South in Dunbar Township, could not be reached yesterday for comment.

She becomes the fifth candidate seeking three seats on the board. The others who are running are incumbent Republicans Angela Zimmerlink and Joe Hardy, and Democrat Vince Vicites.

The only other challenger to the three incumbents is another Democratic candidate, Vincent Zapotosky.
Zapotosky said he does not intend to challenge Cellurale's candidacy.

August 02, 2007By Amy Zalar, Herald-Standard
$ Independent candidates add names to fall ballot
Marilyn Cellurale, a Lemont Furnace woman who has publicly accused Fayette County Commissioner Angela M. Zimmerlink of initiating code enforcement violations against her business, is running as an Independent county commissioner candidate

August 24, 2007By:Amy Zalar
$ Politics in air at commissioners meeting

Political season got a boost into high gear Thursday when independent Fayette County commissioner candidate Marilyn Cellurale brought accusations of smear tactics against Commission Chair...

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