Democrats may be unable to fill ballot in county sheriff's race

June 30, 2003|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The withdrawal of Dane Anthony from the Franklin County Sheriff's race does not present Democrats with an opportunity to select a nominee to replace him on the Nov. 4 ballot, county officials said.

Anthony, 43, of Chambersburg, is a former sheriff's deputy and registered Republican who ran against his former boss Sheriff Robert B. Wollyung in the May 20 primary. While he lost the GOP nomination to Wollyung, he had sufficient write-in votes to win the Democratic nomination.

No Democrat filed to run for that party's nomination in the primary. Anthony petitioned to accumulate more than 1,000 write-in votes he received and those were approved June 16 by the Franklin County Board of Elections.


Anthony, however, did not take the final step of formally filing for the nomination by a June 19 deadline, Jean Byers, the county's deputy chief clerk, said.

"Since he did not meet the deadline to file his paperwork as a write-in candidate ... he is not considered a bona fide nominee," Byers said. "That means there cannot be a substitute nomination made."

Byers said county attorney Welton Fischer researched the state election law on the matter. Had Anthony filed the paperwork and then withdrawn, the party's county committee would have had an opportunity to appoint a substitute nominee before the election.

Anthony could not be reached for comment. Last week, he said his decision to withdraw was done in the best interests of his family.

There will be just two Democrats running for countywide office for voters to choose from in the November general election. County Commissioner Cheryl Plummer is running for re-election and Don Richards, chairman of the county's Democratic committee, is the party's other nominee for the board of county commissioners.

"It would have made a very interesting race," Richards said of the Wollyung-Anthony match up. "Needless to say, a lot of us are unhappy. A number of our committee people supported him in the primary to get his write-ins."

Richards said he thinks Republicans pressured Anthony to pull out of the race. County Democrats still are considering ways to field a candidate this fall.

"If there's any way possible, we'll have a candidate on the ballot, or run a write-in candidate," Richards said.

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