Most Local State Legislators Unopposed

March 7, 2018 GMT

Most Luzerne County state legislators appear headed to an uncontested re-election, though one Nanticoke-based representative faces a rematch and one incumbent in Wilkes-Barre faces a challenger. The county’s delegation has no race as hotly contested like one in Lackawanna County where six Democrats are running in a primary, including two brothers. In the 119th House district, state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-119, Newport Twp., looks to face a challenge from the man he defeated in 2016. He is seeking a fifth term. Mullery and Republican Justin Behrens, a U.S. Army veteran, were the only ones listed as candidates on the Department of State website for the 119th District as of 9 p.m. Tuesday, the deadline to file nominating petitions. In 2016, Mullery defeated Behrens 66 percent to 34 percent despite Republican Donald Trump’s overwhelming victory in Luzerne County in the presidential election. 121st District Eddie Day Pashinski, D-121, Wilkes-Barre, is seeking his seventh term in office. Republican Gregory Stephen Wolovich, of Hanover Twp., filed nominating petitions to challenge Pashinski. Wolovich unsuccessfully ran for Luzerne County Council last year. The candidates for other local state House seats: • 116th District: Rep. Tarah Toohil, of Drums, a Republican, will seek a fifth term. She faces no primary opposition. No Democrat filed to run for the seat. • 117th District Rep. Karen Boback, 66, of Harveys Lake, a Republican, will seek a seventh term. She faces no primary opposition. No Democrat filed to run for the seat. • 118th District: Rep. Mike Carroll, 55, of Avoca, a Democrat, will seek a seventh term. He faces no primary opposition. • 120th District: Rep. Aaron Kaufer, of Kingston, a Republican, is seeking his third term. No Democrat filed to run for the seat. The candidates for the local state Senate seats: • 14th District: Sen. John Yudichak, of Plymouth Twp., a Democrat, will seek his third term. No other Republican and no Democrat filed to run for the seat. • 20th District: Sen. Lisa Baker, 56, of Lehman Twp., a Republican, will seek a fourth term. No other Republican and no Democrat filed to run for the seat. • 22nd District: Sen. John Blake, 57, of Archbald, a Democrat, will seek his third four-year term. Old Forge School Director Frank Scavo III, 55, will seek the Republican nomination. Neither has a primary election opponent. The annual base salary for state House and Senate members this year is $87,180 with members eligible for inflation-based raises each Dec. 1. Brother vs. brother A six-candidate state House race that includes a former Lackawanna County commissioner and his brother facing off for a Democratic nomination will highlight the May 15 primary election ballot locally. Former commissioner Randy Castellani, his brother, Robert, three other Democrats and a Republican filed nominating petitions by Tuesday’s deadline to seek the 112th House district seat that Rep. Kevin Haggerty will give up when his two-year term expires Nov. 30. Randy Castellani, 51, of Archbald, is Haggerty’s chief legislative assistant. Robert Castellani, 52, of Blakely, manages a furniture store. The other Democrats are Kyle Mullins, 33, of Blakely, legislative director for state BORYS KRAWCZENIUK, staff writer, contributed to this report. Contact the writer: bkalinowski@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2055, @cvbobkal