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Johnson Motors - 877-816-0659
Thurston, Spencer win; Scotto retained
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
By Wendy Lynn Brion and Dianne Byers Staff Writers
Several elections were important to the people of Clearfield County yesterday, and a couple changed the face of certain offices after many years.
The biggest race for this municipal election was the one for sheriff. Republican Chester Hawkins announced earlier this year he would not seek reelection, after being the longest-serving sheriff in Pennsylvania history with 36 years under his belt. The announcement opened the field to several candidates, which was narrowed down to two during the primary election in May.
Last night, Republican Wesley Thurston, a retired state police officer, was elected the new sheriff of Clearfield County with 8,402 votes, or 59.11 percent of the vote, defeating opponent Jeff Rhone, a deputy in the sheriff's department, who ran on the Democratic ticket and received 5,787 votes, or 40.71 percent.
Another race looking for a new face in a county office was for prothonotary and clerk of courts when William Shaw Sr. announced earlier this year that he would also not be seeking reelection. The candidates were Jacki Kendrick, a Democrat who has worked as deputy prothonotary and clerk of courts for 14 years, and Brian K. Spencer the Republican candidate. After the unofficial count was tallied, Spencer won with 7,035 votes, or 50.16 percent, over Kendrick, who received 6,981 votes, or 49.77 percent.
The voters of Clearfield County also voted to retain Republican Antonio Scotto as controller. Scotto's opponent in this race was Democrat Rodger D. Baumgardner. Scotto received 9,097 votes, or 65.72 percent verses 4,735, or 34.21 percent for Baumgardner
Another race, which received little attention in the county, was that of Common Pleas Court Judge. The seat was retained by Paul Cherry, who ran unopposed. The vote was a yes or no vote with 10,191 voters saying yes and only 3,068 voting no.
The first precinct to be counted was Lawrence Township-Glen Richey whose election workers brought its ballot box in at 8:40 p.m. quickly followed by Bradford Township's first precinct at 8:42 p.m. and Lumber City Borough at 8:45 p.m. 2013 marked the final election for Lumber City Borough. The municipality will cease to exist after Jan. 6 when it merges with Ferguson Township after a majority of voters approved the measure in the May municipal primary election.
All of the county's 71 precincts ballot boxes were registered by 10:07 p.m.
Many local election officials reported light amounts of voters throughout the day but the Clearfield County Commissioners reported nearly one third of the county's registered voters cast ballots yesterday. "We had an approximately 30 percent turnout, which was very good," said Joan Robinson McMillen. Mark McCracken too said he was pleased with the number of voters. "It was a good turnout for an off-year election," he said, adding, "We appreciate the residents taking time out of their schedules to vote.
The commissioners said there were few problems yesterday and the couple reported were small ones. "There were only a few minor issues. We did not have one big complaint all day," McMillen said.
Sobel thanked the local election workers and the county's election team. "I would just like to give a shout-out to all the people working in the precincts. They are the ones who make the system work. They have a long day but do a good job. We are grateful for what they do." McMillen also thanked the rovers who travel throughout the county visiting polling places to troubleshoot any issues with voting machines.
All election results are considered unofficial until certified by the Clearfield County board of elections.
Dawn Graham of the Clearfield County election office said the process to count write-in votes would begin Friday. She estimated it would take about one and a half weeks to complete.
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