Incumbents leading commissioner primary

May 21, 2003|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Incumbent Franklin County Commissioners G. Warren Elliott and Bob Thomas were leading a three-way race for the two nominations in Tuesday's Republican commissioners primary, according to unofficial results.

With 63 of 75 precincts reporting as of 10:30 p.m., Elliott and Thomas were comfortably ahead in their bids to be re-elected in the Nov. 4 general election. Both are seeking their third, four-year terms on the board of county commissioners.

Thomas, 48, of 1712 Lincoln Road in Chambersburg, was leading with 4.691 votes. Elliott, 48, of 822 Shatzer Orchard Road, was second with 4,576 votes, and challenger Scott H. Blanchard, 39, of 4810 Rockdale Road in Greencastle, Pa., was a distant third with 1,574 votes.


Thomas, a former radio station executive and Chambersburg borough councilman, and Elliott, a senior sales representative for a regional legal publisher, both were elected to their first terms in 1995. Elliott, the chairman, also served as an interim commissioner for several months in 1987 after another member of the board retired.

Blanchard, a project manager for First Data Corp. in Hagerstown, moved to the county in 2001 and is making his first run at public office here. He campaigned on issues of growth and the environment. He supported efforts to kill a bypass project in Washington Township and is president of a small group that wants more local regulation of sewage sludge being used on farm fields.

Elliott and Thomas both touted their records for comprehensive planning for managed growth, preserving and creating jobs, and the preservation of 45 farms comprising nearly 7,000 acres of land.

Commissioners are paid $55,313, according to county salary records. The county's budget this year is approximately $81 million.

If their leads hold, Elliott and Thomas will run against Democrats Cheryl Plummer and Don Richards in the Nov. 4 general election. The top three candidates will be elected to the board of county commissioners.

Plummer, 54, of 3596A Eagle Drive in Chambersburg, also is seeking her third full term. Richards, 51, of 1230 Nancy Ave. in Greencastle, is chairman of the Franklin County Democratic Committee.

They were the only two candidates for the two Democratic nominations.

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