Republicans have primary election choices, ballot questions open to everyone

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Local Republican voters will decide which candidates from their party will advance to the general election in November for Greencastle-Antrim School Board and Greencastle Borough Council, while all voters will get to weigh in on four ballot questions in the primary election on Tuesday, May 18.

Greencastle-Antrim School Board

Ten Republicans are running for four, four-year school board seats.

The list includes three current school board members, Charles Ford, Mark Chimel and Lindsey Mowen, as well as Maria Bonebrake, Percy Rock, Eileen Dickinson, Janon Gray, Christopher Bonillas, Rich Davis and Hal Myers.

Chimel and Ford cross-filed, and their names also appear on Democratic ballots, where they are the only candidates.

Pennsylvania's primary election day is Tuesday, May 18.

There is one, two-year school board seat available, but no one registered for that position so a candidate could be nominated in the primary with 10 write-in votes — the same number of signatures needed on nominating petitions, according to the Franklin County commissioners office. If there is no write-in candidate from the primary, someone could win the seat with a write-in in the November election, with no minimum vote. If the seat is still unfilled, it will be considered a vacancy to be filled by the school board.

Borough of Greencastle

Republican voters in the Borough of Greencastle will select from five candidates for four, four-year seats on borough council.

Incumbent Larry Faight is seeking re-election and the GOP selection also includes Allen Mairose, Jan Shafer, Andrea Rose and Albert Miller.

Current councilman Wade Burkholder is the only Democratic candidate.

Mayor Ben Thomas Jr., a Republican, is unopposed for this second term, and Barbara Bock, also a Republican, is the only candidate for tax collector.

Q&A:Learn more about people running for Greencastle-Antrim School Board

Q&A: Get to know the Republicans running for Greencastle Borough Council

Antrim Township

Incumbent Antrim Township Supervisors Fred M. Young III and Chad Murray are unopposed on the Republican ballot and there are no Democratic candidates.

Also on the ballot are Republicans Sue Myers, 2509 Williamson Road, Antrim Township tax collector; and Michael J. Buckley, 15340 Cobble Drive, both auditor and constable.

Ballot questions

Voters of any or no party affiliation will be able to cast a "yes" or "no" vote on four ballot questions. One is a statewide referendum, and three are proposed Constitutional amendments, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Here are the four:

  • Loan eligibility for municipal fire and emergency medical service companies 

Currently, municipal fire departments with paid personnel and emergency medical service companies are not eligible to apply for loans through an existing state loan program. A statewide referendum, if approved, would allow companies to apply for loans to replace outdated buildings, vehicles and equipment.

  • Termination or extension of disaster emergency declarations

The proposed Constitutional amendment would allow the General Assembly to terminate or extend disaster emergency declarations without the governor's approval.

Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, vetoed a resolution last summer that would have ended his COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration. The state Supreme Court determined that under the state Constitution, the resolution needed to go to the governor for approval.

Under the proposed change to Article III, Section 9, the General Assembly would be able to terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration through a resolution approved by a majority of the members of the House and Senate.

The proposal only applies to disaster emergency declarations issued by the governor.

  • Disaster emergency declaration and management

Another proposed Constitutional amendment also addresses emergency declarations.

In this one, a disaster emergency declaration issued by the governor would expire after 21 days  — unless the General Assembly extends part or all of it through the passage of a concurrent resolution. Currently, declarations are issued for 90 days.

The proposed change also would prohibit the governor from issuing a new disaster declaration — unless approved by the General Assembly — after the current one expires. 

If approved, it would add a new section to Article IV.

  • Prohibition against denial or abridgment of equal rights 

A proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution would guarantee equality of rights under the state law. 

If approved, it would prohibit state, county and local government entities from restricting or denying an individual's equal rights because of race or ethnicity.

The amendment could not be eliminated unless a judge found it unconstitutional or another Constitutional amendment is approved.

For more

For more information, including sample ballots, go to "Voter and Election Information" under the "General Government" tab on the Franklin County website franklincountypa.gov

Teresa Boeckel of the York Daily Record contributed to this story.