Carrasco wins in E. Cocalico

By on May 17, 2017
Romao  R.  Carrasco  defeated Noelle Fortna in the GOP primary for East Cocalico Board of Supervisors. Photo by Patrick Burns

Romao R. Carrasco defeated Noelle Fortna in the GOP primary for East Cocalico Board of Supervisors. Photo by Patrick Burns

DA Craig Stedman bested four other candidates to win the GOP primary and spot on the November ballot seeking one of four open Superior Court seats.

Low voter turnout on a sunny, warm Tuesday was obvious at 4 p.m. as only 100 votes were cast at the Ephrata Public Library polling site where about 1,250 people are registered.

“If you thought you could read a book while working the polls today, you could, but you’d be distracted by one voter about every five minutes,” said a poll watcher in Reamstown.

With only a contested East Cocalico Township supervisor seat and a Pennsylvania Superior Court race on the ballots, voter participation in the county eventually rose to 14.2 percent, according to election officials.

In East Cocalico, Romao Carrasco defeated incumbent Noelle Fortna in the primary race for supervisor.

Noelle B. Fortna 131

Romao R. Carrasco 570

It appears Carrasco has already hit the ground running.

“A win today is really just a stepping-stone at this point for the community,” he said. “A win today in my opinion is a win for the community.”

Carrasco commented on one of the major factors that may have motivated voter backlash against the current board.

That is the Lancaster County District Attorney investigation, which eventually cleared elected officials in East Cocalico of any wrongdoing, into accusations the board had violated the Sunshine Act.

It sparked major criticism and media attention during the past two months about the board’s hiring of its new manager.

At least five citizens lodged complaints with the DA’s office about the nature of H. Scott Russell’s hiring at a salary of $95,000.

“What I’d like to do it is help East Cocalico get rid of some of the bad press it’s gotten in the past,” Carrasco said, “in terms of how it has handled some things and the transparency issues. I want to get a lot of those issues resolved.”

“Because of my background and having been in a small business a lot of my life — and having been in a corporate environment doing strategic marketing and sales all over the world — there’s always going to be contentious moments,” he said.

When asked if there might be some growing pains in stepping onto a board that’s been in place for many years, Carrasco said his skills as a facilitator will ease any potential conflict among supervisors.

“I think it might be contentious initially, as you would normally have with the new relationship,” he said. “But I don’t see that lasting very long because when we set the goals in place for where we want to go as a community in five, seven, 10 and 15 years, I think everyone’s going to be pretty happy with where we want to go and all be on board moving in that direction.”

Another contested race local voters participated in was election for judge candidates to Pennsylvania Superior Court.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman bested four other candidates to win the GOP primary and one of eight spots on the November ballot seeking four open Superior Court seats.

As Lancaster District Attorney since 2007, Stedman created the first-ever countywide Elder Abuse Unit and enhanced the Child Abuse Unit, which has received statewide recognition. He collaborated with the courts and reduced the prison population with targeted strategies and increased efficiency, and created the office’s first Outreach Coordinator to focus on prevention and education, and built one of the top Computer Forensic Units in the state, according to his campaign.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to have received the support of Republican voters across the Commonwealth for a seat on the Superior Court,” Stedman said. “As the District Attorney of one of Pennsylvania’s largest counties and with over 70 percent of the cases that come before the Superior Court being criminal in nature, I am keenly aware of how important it is that we have judges with a strong background in criminal law serving on the Superior Court.”

Prior to his election, Stedman served as Assistant District Attorney in Lancaster for 17 years as a trial and appellate lawyer. Stedman eventually specialized in homicide prosecutions and successfully handled the most complicated and serious cases. All of his trial convictions have withstood appellate scrutiny and none have been overturned.

In other primary ballots:

  • Unopposed Republicans moving on to the November general election seeking four-year Ephrata Area School Board terms are incumbents Timothy W. Stayer and Glenn R. Martin who complete the ticket with new-comers Philip L. Eby and David A. Wissler.

Suzanne M. Delahunt received the top votes on the Democratic ballot for school board.

Richard Gehman, who is also cross-filed, is seeking election to a two-year term.

Gehman joined the board a year ago, replacing Neal Reichard, who resigned March 29, 2016. Reichard was elected in November 2015, and his four-year term would have ended in 2019.

Those two open spots on the board became available as Jenny Miller and Robert Miller are not seeking reelection.

  • Tony Haws ran unopposed on the GOP ballot for a seat on the Ephrata Township Board of Supervisors. He’s seeking to replace incumbent John L. Weber, who is not seeking reelection.
  • Republican Jay R. Snyder ran alone on the ballot running for Ephrata Township auditor.
  • Mayor Ralph Mowen ran unopposed and will move on to the GOP ballot in the November general election.
  • Unopposed winners for Ephrata Borough Council GOP candidates are 1st-Ward incumbents Gregory S. Zimmerman and Thomas G. Reinhold, Susan E. Rowe in the 2nd Ward, and Victor E. Richard in the 4th Ward.

Democratic incumbent Tim L. Barr moves on for reelection in the 3rd Ward.

  • Running unopposed on the Akron Borough Council ballot were Republicans Keith Landis, Darryl L. Witmer, Thomas J. Murray, and Monica R. Hersh.

Akron Mayor John H. McBeth also ran unopposed.

  • In Clay Township, Republican A. Keith Martin ran unopposed for re-election to the board of supervisors. Also on the GOP ballot was Timothy G. Horst who is running for auditor, and Debra A. Zerbe running alone for the tax collector position.
  • Judge Tony S. Russell was cross-filed and the only candidate running for magisterial district judge.
  • Lititz resident Jeff Conrad, earned the spot on the Republican ballot in the general election for Court of Common Pleas judge.
  • Four Republicans are in for general election ballot spots on the Cocalico School Board. Incumbents Douglas Graybill and Richard W. Brenner were joined by new-comers James H. Kidwell Jr. and Lin Sensenig on the GOP primary ballot.
  • Unopposed on the Adamstown ballot for borough council were Republicans David R. Matz, Randy Good, and Mark Bansner. Mayor Dean M. Johnson was also unopposed on the GOP ballot.
  • In Denver Borough, Rodney Redcay was alone on the GOP ballot for mayor along with borough council candidates Jason South, Matthew R. Stover, Christopher D. Flory, and Dan Rogers.

Democrat Kalie Joann Johnson will also be on the November general election ballot for Denver Borough Council.

  • In West Cocalico James Stoner, a Republican incumbent, is running unopposed for a third term on the board of supervisors. Also winning on the GOP ballot were supervisor Leon Z. Eby and Nicole F. Shipton, who is running for auditor.

Patrick Burns is social media editor and a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at or at 721-4455.

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