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Newcomer to face Morris for Chambersburg mayor

May 16, 2001

Newcomer to face Morris for Chambersburg mayor



CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With more than half of the precincts reporting, Chambersburg Borough Councilman Thomas Newcomer appeared to be on his way to securing the Republican nomination for mayor in Tuesday's primary election, according to unofficial totals.

With six of 10 precincts reporting, Newcomer had 610 votes to Gary Hawbaker's 276.

The winner of the GOP primary will face incumbent Mayor Robert Morris, a Democrat, in the Nov. 6 general election. Morris, the lone candidate on the Democratic ballot, had 363 votes with the six of 10 precincts reporting. Morris is seeking his fifth bid in the mayor's office.

In Chambersburg, the mayoral post is largely a figurehead position, with most of the power resting with the Borough Council.

The mayor is responsible for overseeing the Chambersburg Police Department and is called on to break tie votes at council meetings.

Newcomer, 56, who was half-way through his third term as Second Ward councilman, said this spring he decided to run for mayor because he believes there is a need for new leadership and a change in the borough government.

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He has been a proponent of the Rails-to-Trails project and the downtown revitalization efforts.

He has said he believes the borough has to become more creative with its revenue sources and more responsive to ways of reducing expenditures instead of increasing taxes.

He works at Allegheny Energy.

Morris, a guidance counselor at James Buchanan Middle School, said he is proud of the strides the Chambersburg Police Department has made in recent years.

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