Controversies spark interest in local races

March 10, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

o List of Franklin County candidates

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Voters in Franklin County will have many new names from which to choose when they go to the polls in May, particularly those in the southern part of the county.

Twenty-one candidates have filed for 10 open seats on three municipal boards in Southern Franklin County.

The three boards, Antrim Township Board of Supervisors, Waynesboro Borough Council and the Tuscarora School Board, have become known to constituents for controversial actions taken in 2008.

Antrim Township got noticed in August when it eliminated six upper-level staff positions.

On Tuesday, six residents of the township filed to challenge the two incumbents up for re-election, Fred Young III and James Byers.


Greg Moats, Larry Eberly, Jeff Todd, Kathryn Freese, Dan Pellicano and John Alleman filed petitions to appear on the Republican ballot with Young and Byers, according to the Franklin County Office of Elections.

Byers is in his second term on the board, which appointed Young in 2007 after Chairman Bob Whitmore resigned.


The Tuscarora School District, which saw teachers strike during contract negotiations last fall, will have at least three new directors in 2010. Three of the five incumbents up for re-election did not file for the primary, meaning Jane Rice, Janice Hawbaker and Kenneth Nolen will see their tenure expire this year.

Robert Lathrop, Tom Black, Jon Heebner, Erich Hawbaker and Harold Hunsberger cross-filed to run on both the Republican and Democratic tickets in May against incumbents Larry Funk and Donald Piper.

Hunsberger taught for 42 years in the Tuscarora School District and said he hopes to do his part to change the direction the district has gone in the last few years.

Hunsberger, whose son Daryl Hunsberger currently serves on the Tuscarora School Board, is one of the seven candidates running for five open seats on the board. Four of those are four-year terms and one is a two-year term.


In Waynesboro, Pa., only two of the three borough council incumbents up for re-election met the 4:30 p.m. filing deadline Tuesday.

Franklin County Commissioner Bob Thomas, a member of the county's board of elections, said Council President Craig Newcomer contacted him at 5 p.m. Tuesday with an intent to file.

Newcomer said he attempted to get his papers in "at the last minute," but was running late for personal reasons.

He spoke to Thomas about getting his name on the Republican ballot in May, he said.

Thomas said no late files are permitted, but said he will double-check the law.

Newcomer has served on the board for one term and could face running a write-in campaign for November.

No candidates filed for Newcomer's seat on the council, but incumbent Charles "Chip" McCammon will run against four challengers.

Wayne Driscoll, Billie Finn, Lenore Gawf and Tiffany Shindledecker all filed to run for McCammon's Ward 1 seat on the council. Incumbent Jason Stains filed for re-election in Ward 2.

In Washington Township, incumbent Supervisor Chris Firme will give up his seat to another candidate in 2010. Firme cannot run again because of the Hatch Act, which prevents federal employees from running for public office.

Jeffrey Geesaman and David McCarney both filed to run for Firme's seat, the only opening on the Washington Township Board of Supervisors this election cycle.

John Fitz, Chris Devers, Leland Lemley and Greg Ochoa were up for election on the Waynesboro Area School Board. Devers and Fitz did not file for re-election, with Devers citing a desire for more time with his wife and children.

Political newcomers Stephanie Kober, Bonnie Bachtell, Brenda Lucas and Chris Lind met the filing deadline to appear on ballots for the Waynesboro Area School Board.


In Chambersburg, only one candidate filed to challenge incumbents on the Chambersburg Borough Council. Harold Curtis, a Democrat, did not list his Ward on filing papers.

No challengers will seek positions on the Chambersburg Area School Board or the Guilford Township Board of Supervisors.

Voters across Franklin and Fulton counties will pick from four judge candidates: Angela Krom, Shawn Meyers, Tim Wilmot and Eric Weisbrod. They are running for two open judicial positions.

Pennsylvania's primary election will be May 19. In the primary, registered voters can only select candidates from their own party, except in the cases of judges and school board members, who can cross-file.

The top vote-getters in the primary election advance to November's general municipal election.

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