New Castle News

Closer Look

March 23, 2013

John K. Manna: Spring ballot to have few surprises

NEW CASTLE — The ballots are set for the May 21 primary in Lawrence County.

There could be some minimum change after Wednesday, the last day for candidates to withdraw.

But for all practical purposes, we know who the candidates are, and there are few surprises.

Least surprising is that three county row officers, all Democrats, have no opposition on either ballot. Anyone paying attention to the local scene figured it was likely that District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa, based on his job performance in his first term, would have no opposition in seeking re-election.

The same is essentially true for Sheriff Perry Quahliero and Register and Recorder Janet L. Kalajainen, although they have been in office longer. Quahliero is running for his third term and Kalajainen her ninth.

Races for New Castle City Council will be more competitive with six Democrats running for three seats. Two of the seats are for four-year terms and one is for a two-year term.

Three candidates are seeking both the four- and two-year terms and the other three are running only for the four-year term.

Council president MaryAnne Gavrile, Councilman Thomas Smith and Anthony Adamo running for both posts and former mayor Tim Fulkerson, Jim Lombardo and Michael Caruso are seeking the four-year post. Caruso ran unsuccessfully for the mayoral nomination two years ago.

For the record, a candidate can be elected to both the four- and two-year terms, but would have to choose which post he or she prefers after the election.

Nonetheless, six of the candidates will be running for the two four-year terms, thus presenting a somewhat crowded field.

Only two candidates, Rosemary Henderson and William Schafer, are running on the Republican ballot. Nothing is guaranteed, but Democratic candidates for council have had the edge when it comes to the general election.

The absence of opposition for the three county officials at the top of the Democratic ballot could result in a low voter turnout for the primary. And that could have an effect on other races, including city council.

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