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Primary Elections produce a few Surprises

Some bitter contests end while others continue


            The 2017 Primary Election proved to be more than just an off-season "ho-hum" trip to the polls for many in the Town and Country readership areas.  Several municipal, school director and district judicial positions were challenged and in some cases resolved after Tuesday's vote.

            Tuesday's election created some "lame-duck" officials, who will be serving out their term through the end of the year and not returning to their seats in 2018.

            However, the high amount of write-in votes for some of the races could leave the final outcome of certain contests unresolved until those votes are validated over the next few weeks.

            In the borough of East Greenville – where a decision to end a 40-plus-year relationship with neighboring Pennsburg in a regional police department set off a political firestorm – incumbent Republican decision-makers were challenged by several candidates opposing the split.

            In the race for mayor, incumbent Republican Ryan Sloyer – who favored ending the partnership and having the borough start its own police department –  was topped by challenger Keith Gerhart, 188-74.

            Gerhart will now face Democrat Pamela Kennedy in November.

            For a four-year seat on the East Greenville Borough Council, the Democratic ticket had five candidates vying for four seats.  Ann Grubb (126), Doug Criddle (123), Diane Criddle (118), and incumbent Ryan Pugh (100) were the top vote getters and will move on to the November election.

            Republicans battling for those seats saw Lon Brinckman (160), James Raftery (159), Angie Fegely (148), and Joseph Rock (139) topped incumbents Tracey Hunsinger and Joseph Arahill.  Hunsinger and Arahill both favored ending the police partnership, as well.

            Democrat Eric Grubb will vie for a two-year seat on the borough council against Republican incumbent Jennifer Moran in November.  Both candidates ran unopposed in the primary.

            In New Hanover Township, Kurt Zebrowski (388) won over Brian Hemingway (358) to take the Republican nomination for a two-year seat on the board of supervisors.  Also, in New Hanover, Molly Bauer (463) took the Republican nomination for tax collector over Anita Kratz (361),

            The Douglass Township (Montgomery County) race for the Republican nomination for tax collector saw incumbent Rebecca Zern (666) top challenger Joni Crater (97).

            The race for Magisterial District Judge for District 38-2-02 – whose coverage includes the boroughs of East Greenville, Pennsburg, Red Hill, and Green Lane, along with Marlborough, Upper Hanover, Salford and Upper Salford Townships – had two candidates cross-filed on both the Democratic and Republican tickets.

            Attorney Maureen Coggins (1,806) topped incumbent Judge Catherine Hummel Fried (1,586) on both sides of the ballot and will run unopposed, barring a write-in challenge in November.  Coggins received 1,155 votes on the Republican side and 651 on the Democratic ticket to Hummel Fried's 967 Republican and 619 Democratic votes.

            The Berks County race for Magisterial District Judge in District 23-3-2 saw incumbent Judge Michael Hartmen (1,403) top Charlie Maddona (1,070).  Both candidates crossfiled.  Hartmen garnered 607 Democratic and 796 Republican votes while Maddona took 430 Democratic and 640 Republican votes.

            In the Bucks County race for Magisterial District Judge in District 72-5-05, Lisa Gaier received 943 votes on the Democratic ballot and 1,119 on the Republican side to best Robert Heitz (290 Democratic votes, 626 Republican votes).  The district includes the boroughs of Quakertown, Richlandtown, and Trumbauersville, in addition to Milford and Richland townships.

            The contest for four seats on the Upper Perkiomen School Board Director drew nine candidates – eight who cross-filed on both the Democratic and Republican ballots.

            On the Democratic side, Judy Maginnis (571), Will Pike (565), Jon Warren (491) and Melanie Cunningham (489) will be on the ballot in November.

            For the Republicans, Melanie Cunningham (997), Stephen Cunningham (948), James Glackin (878) and Kerry Drake (577) topped the vote-getters.

            All of the successful candidates for Upper Perkiomen School cross-filed.

            Election results are unofficial until confirmed by election officials.  






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