GOP dominates local elections

By on November 8, 2017



Local voter turnout varied on a chilly, wet Election Day, which featured few contested races and no national or gubernatorial appeal.

The results were as expected as GOP candidates dominated all contested and non-contested races.

In a contested race for Ephrata School Board, Democrat Suzanne Delahunt, a teacher at Manheim Township, fell short against four Republicans running for four available seats.

Winners were incumbents Timothy Stayer, a corporate risk and safety manager, and Glenn Martin, who ran on both the Democrat and GOP ballots.

Two new GOP candidates who also won Tuesday were Philip Eby, a 49-year-old, building contractor, and David Wissler, a 36-year-old real estate agent. Those two open spots on the board became available, as Jenny Miller and Robert Miller are not seeking reelection.

Richard Gehman ran unopposed for two-year term on the school board. 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.

In a contested race in Denver Borough, where voter turnout was 17.2 percent, GOP borough council candidates Jason South, Matthew R. Stover, Christopher D. Flory, and Dan Rogers bested Democrat Kalie Joann Johnson. Rodney Redcay was again alone on the GOP ballot for mayor.

Voter turnout in Ephrata Township was 19.6 percent where Tony Haws ran uncontested to replace the departing seat of board secretary John Weber. Republican Jay R. Snyder ran alone on the ballot for Ephrata Township auditor.

Poll officials said a change in poll location caused some voter confusion as a poll moved from at the Ephrata Public Library at 550 S. Reading Road to the Ephrata Exploratorium @ Ephrata Public Library, 560 S. Reading Road.

Turnout in the region ranged from a high in Akron of 21.9 percent to a low of 13.3 percent in Ephrata Borough. Poll officials said a change in poll location caused some voter confusion as a poll moved from at the Ephrata Public Library at 550 S. Reading Road to the Ephrata Exploratorium @ Ephrata Public Library, 560 S. Reading Road.

Mayor Ralph Mowen ran unopposed along with GOP winners for Ephrata Borough Council, including 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 was reelected in the 3rd Ward.

In East Cocalico, where voter turnout was about 17.5 percent, Romao R. Carrasco won a seat on the East Cocalico Board of Supervisors. He’ll replace incumbent Noelle Fortna, whom Carrasco defeated in the May GOP primary.

Voter turnout elsewhere was 13.6 percent in Adamstown where the unopposed included borough council ballots of Republicans David R. Matz, Randy Good, and Mark Bansner. Mayor Dean M. Johnson was also unopposed on the GOP ballot.

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.

Four Republicans earned positions on the Cocalico School Board. Incumbents Douglas Graybill and Richard W. Brenner were joined by new-comers James H. Kidwell Jr. and Lin Sensenig

In West Cocalico, where turnout was 17.5 percent, James Stoner, a Republican incumbent, won a third term on the board of supervisors as an unopposed candidate. Also winning on the GOP ballot were supervisor Leon Z. Eby and Nicole F. Shipton, who is running for auditor.

In Clay Township, where voter turnout was 18.5 percent, Republican A. Keith Martin ran unopposed for re-election to the board of supervisors. Timothy G. Horst won as auditor, and Debra A. Zerbe took the tax collector position.

Judge Tony S. Russell was cross-filed and the only candidate running for magisterial district judge.

Lititz resident Jeff Conrad won a seat as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas.

While Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman won handily in Lancaster County for one of four empty Superior Court seats, he was narrowly defeated in a state race against winners Maria McLaughlin, Debbie Kunselman, and Carolyn Nichols; the fourth went to Republican Mary Murray.

Voters statewide also approved a constitutional amendment that could eventually lead to property tax cuts.

Voters also approved retention ballots for Common Pleas Court judges Christopher A. Hackman, Howard F. Knisely, Margaret C. Miller, Jeffrey J. Reich, Donald R. Totaro, and Jeffery D. Wright.

In the race for Lancaster County Sheriff, GOP candidate Chris Leppler defeated Democrat Chris Genetti, who retired last year after 25 years with the Lancaster city police force.

Patrick Burns is social media editor and 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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