Challengers are tops with Greencastle-Antrim primary election voters

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Challengers swept the Republican races for Greencastle-Antrim School Board and Greencastle Borough Council in Tuesday's primary election.

Greencastle-Antrim School Board

The Republican field for the four, four-year seats in the Nov. 2 general election will be comprised of Eileen Dickinson (1,421 votes), Janon Grey (1,309), Rich Davis (1,360) and Hal Myers (1,435).

Two current school board members, Mark Chimel (247) and Charles Ford (237), cross-filed and were the only candidates on the Democratic ticket, so they also will advance to the general election.

Voting booths were full at 8 a.m. Tuesday at Grace United Church of Christ in Greencastle.

Yet to be determined is a candidate for one, two-year seat on the board since no one from either party filed for that post.

However, the winning Republican quartet campaigned as a group and handed out literature at the polls asking voters to write in the name of Christopher Bonillas.

About the candidates: Learn more about people running for Greencastle-Antrim School Board

The Franklin County Election Board will meet Friday to compile write-ins during the official vote count. Results will be available sometime Friday or early next week, depending on when the review is completed, according to Jean Byers in the Franklin County commissioners office.

In addition to the four top vote-getters, Republican results in the 10-person school board race were Percy Rock (591), Bonillas (471), Chimel (817), incumbent Lindsey Mowen (775), Ford (816) and Maria Bonebrake (500).

Voters registered with poll workers to receive their primary election ballots at Grace United Church of Christ in Greencastle on Tuesday.

Greencastle Borough Council

Four, four-year seats also are available on Greencastle Borough Council, and Republican challengers Allen Mairose (393), Jan Shafer (423), Andrea Rose (423) and Albert Miller (426) outpolled incumbent Councilman Larry Faight (207).

Current Councilman Wade Burkholder (94) was the only Democratic candidate and moves forward to the general election.

About the candidates: Get to know the Republicans running for Greencastle Borough Council

Uncontested

Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr., a Republican, was unopposed for re-election and received 520 votes.

Also uncontested were Republican Antrim Township Supervisors Chad Murray (1,560) and Fred Young (1,395).

Tax collectors Sue Myers, Antrim Township, and Barbara Bock, Greencastle, both Republicans, also advanced without opposition.

At the polls

Connie Lazich, judge of elections at Grace United Church of Christ in Greencastle, termed voter turnout pretty good for an off-year election.

"Don't you think it's all the local stuff going on?" observed Connie Overcash, majority inspector.

Elizabeth Moats submitted her primary election ballot shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday at Grace United Church of Christ in Greencastle.

Elizabeth Moats was among the Republicans who cast ballots at the church and voted for a change of leadership.

The special needs 23-year-old said she is a "slow learner," but her dad, Gardner Moats, taught her about the candidates and was on hand to help her with the election process.

"We need to get new people in there ... it's time to change," she said, explaining she votes "to be a true American."

The father-and-daughter team is already looking ahead to next year, and the races for governor and Congress.

The parking lot at the Shady Grove Community Center wasn't full at 7 a.m. like it was for the presidential election in November, according to Jackie Greenawalt, judge of elections, but turnout was still steady.

In Greencastle and Antrim Township, voter turnout ranged from 21 to 35%.

Ballot questions

Denise and Ed Gelsinger arrived at the Shady Grove Community Center just before 9 a.m., especially ready to vote on two of the proposed Constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Poll workers and voters are shown Tuesday morning at the Shady Grove Community Center in Antrim Township.

They want to take power from the governor and place it more with the legislative body.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has been criticized by some for continuing to extend the disaster emergency declaration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The governor went too far," Denise Gelsinger said.

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

Also on the ballot were a third proposed Constitutional amendment that would guarantee equality of rights under state law and a statewide referendum concerning loan eligibility for municipal fire and emergency medical service companies.

Both of those passed, and although the statewide vote on gubernatorial powers was not yet final, it was leaning toward approving those two amendments. More than 80% of Franklin County voters supported the two Constitutional amendments concerning the governor and disaster declarations.

Fifty-three percent of county voters also backed the equality of rights amendment and 57% voted in favor of the fire and EMS referendum.