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Pa. commissioners race sets record

Fulton County vote was closest on record

Fulton County vote was closest on record

November 14, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

McCONNELLSBURG, PA. ? While Fulton County, Pa., did not see a record number of voters turn out in the Nov. 6 election, it did see a record in how close the race was between the four candidates for Fulton County Commissioners.

"Not in the recent past, I don't think there's been (an election) that close," said Richard L. Wible, chief clerk of Fulton County.

Only 231 votes separated the candidate with the highest number of votes and the candidate with the lowest number of votes, according to the Fulton County election results Web site.

In the 2003 general election, 1,170 votes separated the top vote-getter from the bottom vote-getter, according to the Web site.

Wible said about 37 percent of registered voters in Fulton County voted in the municipal elections. There are 9,496 registered voters in Fulton County, according to the Fulton County Commissioners Office.

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As of Nov. 13, all provisional ballots had been counted by the Fulton County Election Board and the winners in the race are Republican Bonnie Mellott-Keefer with 1,683 votes (27.1 percent), Democrat David R. Hoover II with 1,607 votes (25.9 percent) and Republican Daniel H. Swain Jr. with 1,464 votes (23.5 percent). Democrat Irvin Dasher lost to Swain by 12 votes with a total of 1,452 votes (23.4 percent).

However, the results are not yet official.

"We have to wait the five days before we can do the final certification," Wible said.

The election board recorded the election totals and counted provisional ballots Monday, but there is a five-day period in which candidates can contest or petition for a recount, Wible said.

"I was surprised," Hoover said. "I think our area did not (vote) strictly party. I feel they went by who would do the best, (and) that's sort of different for our area."

"In an election, you never know what to expect," said Mellott-Keefer, who will serve her second term as county commissioner.

On his defeat, Dasher said, "I'm disappointed. I was hoping to win."

"It was a close election, probably the closest one in at least 20 years," Dasher said.

Dasher said he is not going to rule out the possibility of running again in the future. However, he does not plan to ask for a recount.

Swain, who could not be reached for comment, will be serving his third term on the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.

The Fulton County Commissioners serve four-year terms, which pay $36,187 annually, according to Fulton County Business Manager Tim Stanton.

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