Primary election is Tuesday

By on May 17, 2019
Ed Note:  The printed version of The Ephrata Review omitted some GOP candidates for Ephrata Borough Council. Those candidates are  Gregory S. Zimmerman, 1st Ward; Melvin Weiler, 2nd Ward; Ricky L. Ressler, 3rd Ward; and Linda Martin 4th Ward.    
Also, the five GOP-endorsed candidates for Ephrata School Board are Chris J. Weber, Richard Gehman, Timothy Stauffer, Judy S. Beiler, and Trisha Y. Good.


By Patrick Burns

With relatively few contested races in Tuesday’s closed 2019 primary election, voter turnout should be light.

If history tells us anything, voter turnout in Lancaster County will struggle to get near 15 percent even though there are County Commissioner spots on the ballot.

Historic turnout percentages for a municipal primary in which commissioners are nominated are 12.02% in 2015 and 14.8% in 2011, according to Randall Wenger, Chief Clerk, Lancaster County Board of Elections and Chief Registrar, Lancaster County Registration Commission.

Obviously, turnout in a closed primary is limited because only voters registered Democrat or Republican can vote.

That means, for instance, only about 82 percent of the 7,940 registered voters in Ephrata Borough are eligible to vote Tuesday. Borough voter registration breaks down as 54.69% Republican, 27.54% Democrat, and 17.75% others.

Within the three voting precincts in Ephrata Township are 5,408 registered voters. Of those are Republicans, 60.48%; Democrats, 24%; and others at 15.49%.

Two voting precincts in Akron Borough yield a total of 2,605 registered voters which breaks down to GOP, 59.15%; Democrats, 25%; and others at 15.77 %.

The total number of registered voters in East Cocalico Township’s four voting precincts is 5,873. Among them are 63.08% GOP; 21.76% Democrat; and others at 15.15%.

In West Cocalico Township, there are 3,553 registered voters that breaks down among 66.70% GOP, 18.68% Democrat, and 14.60% other or no party affiliation.

The long-term weather forecast presumes a partly cloudy election day with a 20 percent chance of rain and a high temperature of 78.

Turnout in the 2018 primary – when there was a compelling GOP primary race in the 11th Congressional District where incumbent Lloyd Smucker beat Chet Beiler – is likely to top Tuesday’s response from voters.

GOP Primary

There are six GOP candidate’s name on the ballot for five spots on the Ephrata School Board. They are GOP-endorsed candidates Chris J. Weber, Richard Gehman, Timothy Stauffer, Judy S. Beiler, and Trisha Y. Good.  Jobany Bedoya has cross-filed and is on both tickets.

In Ephrata Borough, GOP candidates for Borough Council are  Gregory S. Zimmerman, 1st Ward; Melvin Weiler, 2nd Ward; Ricky L. Ressler, 3rd Ward; Linda Martin 4th Ward.

In Akron, three Republican candidates are on the ballot for three spots on Akron Borough Council. They include Nathan Imhoff, Justin Gehman, and Paul K. Swangren.

John Williamson, a former Republican who is the current president of Akron Borough Council, is running as a Democrat for another term on council.

In Clay Township, Timothy E. Lausch is on the ballot unopposed for reelection to the board of supervisors while Craig Merkey is the lone GOP candidate for auditor.

In Ephrata Township, Clark R. Stauffer is a Republican up for re-election to the board of supervisors; Paul E. Miley is also running unopposed for auditor; as is Joseph Strosser who is seeking a two-year term as tax collector.

East Cocalico Republican candidates include Jeffrey W. Mitchel (supervisor); Kurt Fichthorn (tax collector); Paul Keller (auditor).

West Cocalico GOP names on ballot: Leon Eby (supervisor); Emily Sensenig (tax collector); Lori Berger and Laurie Sauder (auditors)

Denver Borough: Blake S. Daub, Lee Ritz, and Todd Stewart (council members)

Adamstown Borough: Alex McManimen, Randall Weaver, and Jerry Thomason (council members)

School Board: Pamela Brickle, Brett Buckwalter (two year term), Rev. Kevil Eshelman, Juanita Fox, Randall Reninger, and Desiree Wagner (school directors)

Two nearby residents seeking county positions are Heather Adams, of Lititz, who’s running for Lancaster County District Attorney and Ephrata attorney Andy Spade who is seeking the prothonotary position.

Craig W. Stedman, the current Lancaster County District Attorney is the lone candidate on the GOP ballot for Common Pleas Court Judge

Three GOP candidates are vying for two spots in the Lancaster County Commissioners race. They are Ray D’Agostino, Josh Parsons, and Douglas Brubaker.

On the GOP ballot are three candidates for superior court judge, where voters choose two. They are Rebecca Warren of Luzerne County, Megan McCarthy King from Chester County; and Christy lee Peck from Cumberland County.

Also running unopposed on the GOP ballot are Jackie Pfursich for Clerk of Common Pleas Court and Stephen G. Diamantoni for reelection as county coroner.   Amber L. Martin in on the ballot for treasurer

Democrats on the 2019 Primary Ballot

As noted, Jobany Bedoya is cross-filed on both tickets for a seat on Ephrata School Board and John Williamson, the current president of Akron Borough Council who won as a Republican, is running as a Democrat for another term on council.

A Democratic candidate on the ballot for Cocalico School Board is Pam Goshert

Other Democrats on the preliminary ballot are Craig Lehman, who is running for his third term on Lancaster County Board of Commissioners; Hobie Crystle, a candidate for Lancaster County District Attorney; and Dan Phillips, running for prothonotary.

On the Democrat list running for Superior Court Judge are Beth Tarasi, Allegheny County; Daniel D. McCaffery, Philadelphia County; and Amanda Green-Hawkins from Allegheny County.

Patrick Burns is news editor of The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at or at 717-721-4455.



About Patrick Burns

Social media editor and staff writer for Ephrata Review and Lititz Record Express.

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