Three win commissioner seats in Franklin County

November 07, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With Republicans having a 2-to-1 advantage in the number of registered voters in Franklin County, the real horse race in Tuesday's Board of County Commissioners race was who would be the Democratic member of the board when it is sworn-in in January.

With all 74 precincts reporting as of 11 p.m., Bob Ziobrowski defeated fellow Democrat Cheryl Stearn, 8,491 to 6,563, in his bid for a four-year term on the board, according to complete and unofficial results from the Franklin County Election Board.

"I have to learn the ropes," said Ziobrowski. "I don't come in with an agenda. I just want to learn to be competent and then focus on my vision for the future."

Republican incumbent Bob Thomas led all vote-getters with 12,759 votes, followed by Republican David S. Keller with 11,189 votes.

Thomas, 52, of Chambersburg, was the lone incumbent in the race as Commissioners G. Warren Elliott, a Republican, and Democrat Cheryl Plummer chose not to run for re-election.


"There were a lot of good ideas that came up during the campaign, which is really the beauty of our political system" Thomas said.

Those issues include greater cooperation between the county and municipalities, encouraging volunteerism in the fire and rescue services and farmland preservation.

"I have no doubt we will work very well together," Thomas said of Keller and Ziobrowski.

Keller, 38, of Chambersburg, who recently earned his law degree and passed the Pennsylvania Bar exam, had worked as a computer network consultant at Sunrise Computers, the business owned by Stearn and her husband, Frank. He had previously run for office in an unsuccessful attempt at the GOP nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives against U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th, a few years ago.

"My priority will be to work with the other commissioners on farmland preservation, economic development and reducing drug and alcohol abuse," Keller said. "I'm very grateful to the people of Franklin County, my friends and supporters who made this possible."

Thomas had finished first among the seven Republican candidates in the May 15 primary, with Keller edging out the third-place candidate, Carl W. Helman, by about 300 votes.

A former president of the Chambersburg School Board, the 56-year-old Ziobrowski is an appraiser and chairman of the Chambersburg Hospital Board of Directors.

Stearn, 61, is a resident of St. Thomas Township, where her husband serves as a supervisor, and is also on the Chambersburg Hospital Board of Directors. In recent years, she had been politically active in the township, first as an opponent of a quarry project and then as an unsuccessful candidate to serve on a commission to draft a home rule charter for the township.

The ballot question to form the home rule commission was soundly defeated in the township.

Stearn had emerged atop the field of five Democratic candidates seeking the two nominations in the May 15 primary, finishing first or second in many of the county's 74 precincts with Ziobrowski picking up the second nomination.

Commissioners were paid $63,458.37 this year, according to county records.

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