Lame ducks flock together throughout Franklin County

May 19, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - There's going to be a lot of lame ducks waddling through the bureaucracy in Franklin County townships and boroughs following Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary.

Incumbent office holders lost bids for their party's nominations to challengers across the county, including Washington, Antrim and Quincy townships and Waynesboro and Greencastle boroughs, according to unofficial primary returns.

The winning challengers still face the Nov. 8 general election, but all should be sworn in Jan. 1.

That leaves more than six months for the defeated incumbents to continue their government service. Their terms end Dec. 31.

One of the biggest upsets befell Arthur T. Cordell, 59, chairman of the Washington Township Supervisors. He's been on the board for four years.


Cordell came in last in the four-way race for the two supervisor seats up this year with 431 votes. The top vote-getter was political newcomer Carroll C. Sturm with 787 votes.

In the same race, challenger John T. Gorman ended up with 780 votes to the 494 picked up by incumbent Richard Mohn Jr.

Cordell suffered his loss with dignity.

"I got whupped. It was a bad election for incumbents and a good election for the other people," he said. "But I'm tickled to know that I was able to serve for four years and give something back to my community."

Growth in Washington Township, as it is in much of southern Franklin County, was an issue in the primary.

"I guess people can't or don't realize how little we (supervisors) have to say about it," he said.

· In Waynesboro, incumbent council members C. Harold Mumma and Lorena Newcomer lost their Ward 2 seats to Jason B. Stains and Allen W. Berry.

Stains trampled Newcomer by a nearly 4-to-1 margin, according to unofficial returns.

Mumma and Newcomer were appointed to the council to fill unexpired terms - Mumma in 2004 and Newcomer in February.

In Waynesboro's Ward 3, Craig L. Newcomer beat fellow challenger Stephen Monn for the seat being vacated by John Cook at the end of his term in December.

Lorena Newcomer's exit in December will return the council to all-male status.

n Incumbent Chambersburg, Pa., mayor Tom Newcomer also was bit by the primary upset bug. He lost the GOP nomination for that position to John A. Redding. Newcomer received 674 votes, while Redding coasted to victory with 962, according to complete, but unofficial results.

· Two incumbents were knocked off the Greencastle Borough Council and two held their seats.

Council President Barbara Bock and Councilwoman W. Jean Oliver, both longtime veterans, lost to challengers in the Republican primary.

Incumbents Charles Eckstine and Sydnae Vanner kept their seats.

Bock said she is not so upset that she lost, only that 22 percent of the borough's voters cast ballots.

"That's a poor showing," she said.

It was not a good year for incumbents, she said.

"I'm not the only one. There are quite a few of us. It's time for me to move on," she said.

Bock and Vanner registered the lowest number of votes in the borough council balloting.

"The people had their say," Bock said.

She said she will continue to serve as well as she can until her term ends in December.

Challengers who go unopposed to Greencastle's general election are Paul Schemel and Harry Foley.

· Upsets in Antrim Township will see the replacement of longtime incumbent Supervisors Larson Wenger and B.J. Roberts Jr. They ended up with the lowest vote totals in the township primary.

Challengers Curtis W. Myers and Sam L. Miller advance to November.

· In Quincy Township, former supervisor Kerry Bumbaugh beat incumbent Joseph S. Middour 387 votes to 250 in the Republican primary, according to unofficial returns.

· The Greene Township Board of Supervisors also will have a new member this fall after incumbent Jeffrey W. Furry was defeated by challenger Todd Burns for the Republican nomination, according to complete, but unofficial results from the Franklin County Election Board.

Burns defeated Furry 983-803, according to results from all six precincts. No Democrats filed to run in that party's primary.

· Another incumbent, Franklin County Treasurer Chris A. Bender, lost in his bid to win the Republican nomination Tuesday. According to complete but unofficial results, David Secor won the nomination with 5,273 votes, while Bender picked up 3,692 and Jim Knox collected 2,738 votes.

Countywide, 17,876 of 82,927 registered voters or 21.56 percent, went to the polls Tuesday.

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