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Incumbents beat challenger for two seats

May 18, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County Commissioners G. Warren Elliott and Bob Thomas beat back a challenge from Guilford Township Tax Collector Chris A. Bender to win the Republican nominations for the November general election.

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With 63 of 75 precincts reporting at 10:30 p.m., Elliott, 44, of 822 Shatzers Orchard Road, Chambersburg, led the way with 4,513 votes, or 41 percent, according to unofficial results from the Franklin County Election Board.

Thomas, 44, of 171 Lincoln Road, was second in the balloting with 4,078 votes, or 37 percent.

Bender, 37, of 311 Pine Drive, Fayetteville, Pa., collected 2,326 votes, about 21 percent.

Elliott, the chairman of the Board of Commissioners, and Thomas are both running for their second four-year terms in office.

In November, Thomas and Elliott will face incumbent Democrat Cheryl Plummer and Democratic candidate Bruce Hockersmith. The top three vote-getters in the fall will make up the three-member board that takes office in January 2000.

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Plummer, 50, of 3596A Eagle Drive, Chambersburg, and Hockersmith, 61, of 304 W. King St., Shippensburg, Pa., were the only candidates in the Democratic primary.

Plummer, who is running for a second term, got 58 percent of the Democratic vote with 1,960 votes. Hockersmith, a former president of the Shippensburg Borough Council and a legislative aide to State Rep. Jeff Coy, collected 1,422 votes for 42 percent.

There was a wide disparity in spending by the candidates in the GOP primary. According to campaign finance records, Elliott spent about $22,000, compared to $4,000 for Thomas and about $1,700 by Bender.

According to county figures, there were 61,529 registered Republicans and Democrats eligible to vote Tuesday. With all but 12 precincts reporting, however, only about 9,000 people had voted.

County Board of Election members Steve Minnich and Mary Curfman Hockenberry had predicted late last week that turnout would be about 20 percent, in part because of a lack of contested local and countywide races.

related stories:

-- Rock held late lead for Guilford supervisor

-- Sheriff, chief deputy coroner win nominations

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