Choices aplenty in Franklin County primary

May 19, 2003|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A contest in the GOP primaries for the board of commissioners and sheriff's office, along with a 10-way race for a newly created district justice office, could pump up turnout Tuesday in Franklin County's municipal primary.

In 1999, the last time a similar slate of county and municipal offices was up for consideration, the turnout was 18 percent, a sharp drop from the 37 percent that showed up at the polls for the 1995 municipal primary, according to county election records.

The county has 73,940 registered voters, almost 22,000 more than 1995, when the federal Motor Voter law went into effect. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the county almost 2-1, at 43,074 to 22,414.


Independents, or those registered with other parties, make up the remaining 8,452 voters. Those voters will not be able to cast ballots Tuesday because no minor party candidates filed to run for any office and there are no referendums, which are open to all voters.

In contested county elections, Scott H. Blanchard of Greencastle, Pa., is running against two-term incumbents G. Warren Elliott and Bob Thomas, both of Chambersburg, in the Republican Board of Commissioners primary. Voters will choose from the three for the two nominations to the November ballot.

Sheriff Robert B. Wollyung of Chambersburg is running for a fourth term against former deputy Dane Anthony of Chambersburg and Roger A. Blattenberger, a Peters Township constable.

There are no Democratic candidates for sheriff, but one of the three men could pick up that nomination on write-ins.

Ten candidates are running for the Democratic and Republican nominations for the new District 7 District Justice seat. Candidates can cross-file for judicial seats, so it is possible one person could win both nominations, or the parties could pick separate nominees.

There also is a race for the District 3 district justice office, where incumbent John R. Weyman of Letterkenny Township faces challenger Richard L. Alloway II of Chambersburg.

There are no contested school board races in the Waynesboro, Greencastle-Antrim or Tuscarora school districts, but the five incumbents from the Chambersburg School Board running for re-election all have opposition. There are 11 candidates for the five seats and all but two have cross-filed to run in both primaries.

Contested primaries also will be featured in a number of the boroughs and townships where incumbents will face opposition or candidates will be vying for an open seat.

The polls at the 75 precincts in the county will open Tuesday at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Votes will be counted at the Franklin County Administrative Annex at 218 N. Second St. in Chambersburg.

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