New Castle News

Closer Look

June 29, 2013

How many dollars to dole out is a candidate’s choice

NEW CASTLE —

There is no true formula for how much money should be spent in a political campaign.
The fact is nobody can say how much should be spent to win an election. This was particularly evident in the May primary in New Castle.
The results from the primary may cause one to wonder that there is no rhyme or reason to campaign spending.
A case in point was the race for New Castle Area School Board where voters had to nominate four candidates on both Republican and Democratic ballots.
Seven of the nine candidates in the primary ran on both ballots. Only three of them, however, won both nominations: Dr. Marilyn Berkely, George Gabriel and Mark Panella. Steve Fornataro won a Democratic nomination and Philip Conti a GOP nomination.
Gabriel, who retired as district superintendent earlier in the year, ended up spending the most money of any candidate — $6,920 and change.
Panella spent the next highest among school board candidates — $4,622 and change.
Berkely, on the other hand, spent less than $600. Yet, she finished first on the Republican ballot and grabbed the fourth spot on the Democratic side, far ahead of the fifth place finisher.
She even spent far less than fellow board member Anna Pascarella, who spent $1,644, but finished well out of the running.
So, what does it all mean?
Gabriel probably didn’t need to spend as much as he did. While he may have been running in his first election, he was no stranger to New Castle voters since he served as superintendent for more than nine years.
Plus, this primary had a low voter turnout. And generally, the beneficiaries of small turnouts are candidates who have a political base or who have lots of relatives as in Gabriel’s case.
As an incumbent board member and an optometrist in the community for many years, Berkely didn’t have to introduce herself to voters either.
How much to spend on a campaign is definitely an individual choice. It basically comes down what a candidate is comfortable with.
In Berkely’s case, she was comfortable with running on her record and reputation rather than loads of money.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • Ferannte.tiff Upholstery shop showcases music, talent

    Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Jim Ferrante is working to improve his community.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local pastor helping fire victims

    A local pastor is opening up donation avenues to help two families who lost their homes to fire this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • First Energy to replace transmission line

    FirstEnergy Corp. has plans to rebuild a power transmission line between the West Pittsburg plant and a Mahoningtown substation.

    April 18, 2014

  • school.jpg Union to return assistant principal post

    The Union Area School District will have a new administrator when the 2014-15 school year starts. The board voted 8-0 Wednesday night to hire an assistant principal. Debra Allebach was absent.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Calen.tiff Callen gets state honors

    Robert Callen has been selected to receive a state award for his contribution to local government in Pennsylvania. Callen, 58, executive director of the Lawrence County Regional Council of Governments, received the Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bobosky.jpg Gas holdouts unconvinced of safety

    When Suzanne Matteo and her husband, Martin, bought their house on four acres in Pulaski Township they had a plan. They would grow a huge vegetable garden, raise lots of flowers and a few chickens and enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miller.jpg Wilmington superintendent discusses common core

    The Wilmington district has no reason to fear new Pennsylvania Core standards, superintendent Dr. Michelle Miller said. She talked about the standards to approximately two dozen residents at the school board’s monthly pre-meeting Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shreck.tiff Schreck reappointed Shenango superintendent

    Dr. Michael Schreck has been reappointed as Shenango’s superintendent for a five-year term. The school board approved his reappointment by an 8-0 vote Monday. Nicholas Manolis was absent.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Congressional candidate disqualified

    Commonwealth Court has removed a Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat from the May 20 primary ballot. Judge Bernard L. McGinley has invalidated the nomination petitions of Mel A. Marin of Sharon.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Up through the ground comes education cash

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage