Write-ins score well in Mercersburg race

November 10, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Four candidates won four-year seats on the Mercersburg Borough Council on Tuesday, including one whose name was on the ballot and three who waged write-in campaigns.

In all, eight candidates, four each for the two- and four-year seats up this year, were on the ballot. The three successful write-in candidates expanded the voters' choices.

The top vote-getter in the race was Elizabeth J. McClintick, 46, of 30 E. Fairview Ave. A political novice, McClintick's write-in campaign for a four-year seat netted 177 votes, according to a tally of the write-in votes tacked on a back door of the Mercersburg, Montgomery, Peters and Warren Volunteer Fire Company firehouse at 132 N. Main St.


Second in the four-year contest, according to complete but unofficial Franklin County election returns, was Christopher F. Coote, another newcomer to local politics. Coote, whose name was on the ballot, ended Tuesday's voting with 170 votes.

Third in that race with 150 votes, according to tally and his own estimate, was write-in candidate Thomas Heefner, 66, of 22 E. Fairview Ave. Heefner, an eight-year council veteran, chose not to seek re-election this year, but changed his mind after he saw who was on the ballot, he said.

Fourth was Karl Plitt, a Church Street resident and newcomer to town. His write-in bid got him 134 votes, according to the tally.

Knocked out Tuesday were incumbent Danyelle Howe (53 votes) and challengers Hartzell M. "Buster" Watson (60 votes) and Dennis "Denny" L. Bennett (53 votes).

Incumbents Betty Stenger (177 votes ) and Daniel Jones (154 votes) kept their two-year seats. They were on the ballot.

Losers in the two-year-seat race were former Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown (53 votes) and Lana M. Gordon (67 votes).

Mercersburg mayor James C. Zeger ran unopposed and ended up with 241 votes.

The only council incumbent not facing re-election was Josh Meyers.


Voting was simpler for the Greencastle Borough Council where five candidates vied for the four available seats. It was made even simpler when incumbent W. Jean Oliver, who won a primary fight May 17, tried unsuccessfully to have her name removed from the November ballot.

Oliver said if she won Tuesday she would not serve and would resign immediately. The voters took her at her word. She came in last with 287 votes.

Paul Schemel, 33, of 152 S. Washington St., a local attorney and first-time candidate, got the most votes with 604.

Next was newcomer Kate Deater, 34, of 138 S. Allison St., with 566 votes followed in third place by former Councilman Harry Foley, 60, of 54 Apple Drive. He had 556 votes.

Incumbent Charles Eckstine, 65, a 12-year council veteran, kept his seat with 522 votes.

Councilwomen Barbara Bock and Sydnae Vanner lost their re-election bids in the May primary.

Greencastle Mayor Robert "Red" Pensinger is stepping down at the end of his term Dec. 31. He will be replaced by Robert E. Eberly. Unopposed, Eberly received 648 votes.

Antrim Township

Incumbent Antrim Township Supervisor Larson Wenger, who lost in the May primary, tried to make a comeback Tuesday with a write-in campaign. He got fewer than 400 votes, according to unofficial counts.

Wenger could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Incumbent B.J. Roberts Jr. also lost in May. He and Wenger will be replaced by newcomers Sam Miller and Curtis W. Myers.

Miller collected 1,466 votes Tuesday and Myers had 1,145.

Washington Township

The two-way race for Washington Township tax collector pitted incumbent Donald L. Ambrose against Joey D. Kline. Ambrose ended up with 1,004 votes to Kline's 698.

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