CLEARFIELD — As predicted earlier this week by Clearfield County Director of Elections Dawn Graham, voter turnout for the Pennsylvania primary election on Tuesday was very low across the region.
Pennsylvania was one of four states in the U.S. that held a primary yesterday. The other three were Idaho, Nebraska, and Oregon.
In Clearfield County, Graham noted it was a rather uneventful day, which is a good thing, she said.
Afternoon thunderstorms in the southern portion of the county cause power outages at several precincts including Gulich, Ferguson, Beccaria 2nd, Brisbin, and Newburg. Graham said battery backups at each polling site came on before any voting machines went down, so there were no major issues.
“Actually, it was a really quiet day,” Graham added.
Approximately 18 percent of registered voters cast their ballot in Clearfield County on Tuesday for a total of just over 8,700. More than 63 percent, or 5,533, of the voters were Republican while 36 percent, or 3,176, were registered Democrats.
Republican Scott Wagner took home his party’s gubernatorial nomination in Pennsylvania. Wagner tallied just over 50 percent of the votes in Clearfield County and 43 percent in the Commonwealth to defeat challengers Paul Mango and Laura Ellsworth.
Wagner will face incumbent Governor Tom Wolf, who was unopposed on the Democratic ticket, this November.
Around the halfway point of election day at 2 p.m., voter turnout in Houtzdale Borough was severely low, just like many other municipalities in Clearfield County. Judge of Elections Edna George noted just 38 of the borough’s 528 registered voters, or less than eight percent, had cast a ballot to that point.
“(Voter turnout) has been terrible, but we’re having fun,” George remarked.
Despite the minimal numbers, the only issue at the precinct was the absence of a voting sign.
“I guess they thought we were so good we didn’t need it,” George joked.
In Centre County, Rush Township’s North precinct had 307 voters cast ballots with thirty minutes left at the polls. Judge of Elections Yvonne Maruschak said the precinct — the biggest out of the five township locations — has 1,256 registered voters.
“They’ve been coming and going throughout the day,” Maruschak said.
Maruschak said they had a steady flow of voters in the morning, around the noon hour and through dinner time hours.
Progress staff writer Tyler Kolesar contributed to this story.
BROOKVILLE — All was quiet in Jefferson County, according to Karen Lupone, Jefferson County Chief Clerk, with no problems at any of the polling locations. A combined 12,811 Republicans and Democrats were not stopped by the thunderstorm that blew through the county Tuesday afternoon and turned out to vote in the 2018 Primary Election.
In Jefferson County the race for candidate for U.S. Senator was close with Lou Barletta taking the vote with 52.13 percent (1,772 votes) against Jim Christiana receiving 47.87 percent (1,627 votes).
The bid for governor was won by Paul Mango who received 47.47 percent (1,718 votes) against his two opponents, Scott R. Wagner who got 37.14 percent (1,344 votes) and Laura Ellsworth who got 15.39 percent (557 votes).
In the race for lieutenant governor, Jefferson County gave their vote to Jeff Bartos with 35.84 percent (1,246). He won ahead of three other candidates; Kathy Coder received 22 percent (765 votes), Peg Luksik received 21.40 percent (744), and Diana Irey Vaughan received 20.77 percent (722 votes).
Jefferson County gave the nod to John Fetterman for lieutenant governor with 60.12 percent (710 votes). This was a large margin over the four other candidates for this position; Kathi Cozzone got 22.18 percent (262 votes), Nina Ahmad got 7.96 percent (94 votes) Mike Stack got 6.10 percent (72 votes), and Ray Sosa got 3.64 percent (43 votes).
The race for representative in Congress of the 15th District was won by Susan Boser in Jefferson County. Boser won with 84.85 percent (963 votes) over her opponent Wade Jodun, who received 15.15 percent (172 votes).
ST. MARYS — It’s National Police Week.
A week of honoring established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy to honor police officers.
As society and law enforcement’s role in it has been continually in flux since then, around 1982 it became an event honoring the fallen, as well as those who served and those still in active duty.
On Tuesday morning, the Agape Assembly of God church in St. Marys was filled with over two dozen active and retired police officers and their families.
They gathered to celebrate Police Week, which this year spans from May 13-19.
According to Phil Hoh, president of the Bucktail Lodge FOP, there were 135 law enforcement fatalities nationally in 2017.
Locally, three officers were honored Tuesday for losing their lives in the line of duty.
Those included: Johnsonburg police Officer Carl Whippo, a 14 year veteran officer, who was shot at his desk in 1984; Sgt. David Distrola, a Bradford Borough Police officer, who died in 1989 when he fell off a bridge while attempting to get out of the way of car that was skidding on the ice; and Officer Steven German, of Kane Borough Police Department, who died in 1999, when he made a routine traffic stop and the 18-year-old pulled out a pistol and shot him in the chest.
While the dead were honored, so were the living.
“We live in challenging times for law enforcement. There seems to be a lawlessness that is prevalent in our society. Individuals in society like to speak of their rights and privileges as opposed to their obligations and responsibilities,” said Elk County District Attorney Shawn McMahon.
He added that social media has changed personal relationships, adding that there is a mental and emotional coping crisis in society, which law enforcement has become tasked with contending with.
“We have a tendency as a society to want to address the symptoms instead of the problems. And there is a cynicism that certainly effects us. But despite the challenges that we’re confronted with, I’m optimistic as the District Attorney that the good people still outnumber the bad, that there are strong families in our county, that our school are strong and play an important role in maintaining law and order in our society,” McMahon said.
RIDGWAY — Elk County received a 15 percent voter turnout rate in its primary election, drawing just over 3,000 of its 19,000 voters to the polls.
All of the following results from Elk County, released online Tuesday night, remain as the unofficial election results.
In Elk County, it was a tight race for candidate for U.S. Senate, with Jim Christiana taking just over 50 percent of the vote, Lou Barletta taking just over 48 percent, and almost one percent as write-ins.
Scott Wagner swept his two opponents in Elk County in his bid as Republican gubernatorial candidate, taking nearly 49 percent of the county’s votes.
The most highly contested race on both tickets, Jeff Bartos got Elk County’s nod for lieutenant governor, getting 41 percent of its votes in a race with three other candidates.
The Republican state committee chairman position will be determined as the late Dr. Maurus Sorg is on the ballot for the position and received just over 86 percent of the votes. One hundred sixty-four write-ins were cast, likely determining his replacement.
In Elk County, Democrats gave the nod to John Fetterman in his bid for lieutenant governor, giving him 56 percent of the county’s vote. Fetterman ran on the Democratic ticket against four other candidates.
On the Democratic ticket in Elk County, Susan Bouser received just over 66 percent of the vote in the race against Wade Jodun for a place on November’s ballot for Representative in Congress for the 15th District.
Locally, John M. Glantz was chosen as the Democratic committee member for Fox #1. The rest of the committee member positions for other districts were either uncontested or were subject to write-in votes.