Municipal, County And State Races Will Be Decided In Primary

May 21, 2019 GMT

Today’s primary election will determine Democratic and Republican nominations for state Superior Court, Wilkes-Barre mayor, Luzerne County Council, school board seats and other municipal offices.

The most high-profile campaign in northern Luzerne County has been the Democratic contest for Wilkes-Barre Mayor, where Mayor Tony George faces a primary challenge from former city Councilman George Brown.

Some city Democrats have more choices in primary elections for district seats on city council. A total of nine Democrats — three in each primary contest — are seeking nominations for three of council’s five districts.


The forecast for the day is mostly sunny, and the temperature is expected to be 50 degrees when the polls open at 7 a.m., according to AccuWeather. The high temperature is expected to be

69 degrees.

At the top of the ballot across the state is the election for Superior Court. Two seats on that court are open, and the primary will determine two Democratic and two Republican nominations. Three candidates from each party are on the ballot.

The Republicans are Cumberland County Judge Christylee Peck, Chester County prosecutor Megan King and Rebecca Warren, the former Montour County district attorney now is living in Hazle Twp. in Luzerne County.

The Democrats are Philadelphia Judge Daniel McCaffery and lawyers Amanda Green-Hawkins, of Pittsburgh, and Beth Tarasi, of Allegheny County.

Seven Democrats are seeking six nominations for Luzerne County Council, and only four Republicans are the ballot for county council. That means write-in votes could determine two Republican nominations for county council.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis is seeking a third term, and the Republican is the only candidate on the primary ballot. Democrat Daniel Hunter is waging a write-in campaign for district attorney, hoping he can muster enough votes to get the Democratic nomination.

Primary elections for Wilkes-Barre Area School Board could have an effect on whether the school district continues its current plan to build a new consolidated high school in Plains Twp. Four incumbents are facing five challengers.

Candidates in school board elections can cross-file and run in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. The Wilkes-Barre Area contests will determine five Democratic and five Republican nominations and could eliminate up to four candidates from the November general election.


Voters in the Crestwood School District also have choices with a total of 11 candidates, including four incumbents, on the primary ballot.

Voter turnout is typically low for municipal primaries. Turnout for the 2017 primary election in Luzerne County was 19.8 percent of reregistered voters and was 21.4 percent in 2015.

George defeated Brown in the 2015 Democratic primary for Wilkes-Barre mayor and went on to become mayor in the general election in 2015.

Contact the writer:


570-821-2073, @cvmikebuffer



What you need to know before heading to the polls today:

• Polling hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pennsylvania law requires that everyone be allowed to vote as long as they’re in line before the polls close.

• Pennsylvania’s primary elections are closed, so only registered Republicans may vote in Republican primaries and likewise for Democrats.

• The Pennsylvania Department of State has a formal election complaint site on its website: www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/ReportElectionComplaints.aspx. If you have a more immediate need, you can call the voter hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772). Interpreters are available.

• For problems voting or to report questionable practices, voters can also call 570-825-1715 in Luzerne County; 570-963-6737 in Lackawanna County; and 570-996-2224 in Wyoming County.

• Voters can find out where to vote at: https://www.pavoterservices. pa.gov/pages/pollingplaceinfo.aspx

n For more information on polling places in Luzerne County, go to: www.luzernecounty.org/1200/Polling-Place-Information.

• An emergency absentee ballot may be obtained through the Court of Common Pleas. More information is available at: https://www.luzernecounty.org/1089/emergency-ballots

• Only first-time voters, or those voting for the first time in a new precinct, must show ID. Acceptable ID includes both photo and non-photo ID. Registered first-time voters who do not bring id to the polls can return with identification or must be offered a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot records your vote, while the county election office determines whether it can be counted.


n Democrats 105,687

n Republicans 76,864

n No Affiliation 18,184

n All others 7,181

n Total 207,916