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Few contests await in Pa. primary

April 11, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Franklin County, Pa., election officials are preparing to print ballots in anticipation of the Tuesday, May 18, primary election, in which voters will face few choices on the local front.

One aspect of the U.S. Senate race will be decided in court soon, then the ballots can be certified, proofed and printed, Franklin County Deputy Chief Clerk Jean Byers said.

The county also will be ensuring poll workers are available May 18 and the ballot equipment is in working order, she said.

Voters will be choosing their state representatives, as well as a governor, lieutenant governor and members of Congress this year.

State Reps. Todd Rock and Rob Kauffman from the 90th and 89th House Districts, respectively, are running unopposed. Both are Republicans. No Democrats have filed in either district.

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The 90th District is comprised of Antrim, Guilford, Hamilton, Montgomery, Peters, Quincy, Warren and Washington townships, and the boroughs of Greencastle, Mercersburg, Mont Alto and Waynesboro.

The 89th District includes the boroughs of Chambersburg, Shippensburg and Orrstown; Greene, Letterkenny, Lurgan and Southampton townships and part of Guilford Township in Franklin County; and Southampton Township in Cumberland County.

State Rep. Mark Keller faces a challenge for his 86th House District seat from fellow Republican Michael J. Lapp of Perry County.

Keller was first elected in 2004. In a biography on his Web site, Keller says he was appointed as deputy whip by Republican Whip Rep. Mike Turzai. He serves on the agricultural and rural affairs, game and fisheries, local government and transportation committees.

Lapp retired from the U.S. Army in 2004 and serves in various positions at the Church of God in Newport, Pa. He volunteers with the Newport Meals on Wheels program, Perry County Day Camp and Newport Turkey Trot. Lapp and his wife, Trish, have three children.

No Democrats filed for the 86th District seat in the primary.

The 86th District serves Franklin and Cumberland counties. Included are parts or all of Franklin County's Fannett, Hamilton, Metal, St. Thomas and Peters townships.

In the 91st House District, Democrat Derf Maitland is challenging state Rep. Dan Moul, a Republican. Moul was elected in 2006; Maitland is the Union Township, Pa., auditor.

The 91st District is primarily based in Adams County, Pa., but it includes parts of Guilford and Quincy townships in Franklin County.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., is running unopposed for re-election in the 9th District.

One of the most-watched races in the state is the one involving U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, who switched parties in 2009. Now a Democrat, Specter is running for a sixth term against Democrat Joe Sestak, Democrat Joseph Vodvarka, Republican Pat Toomey and Republican Peg Luksik.

Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell has reached his term limit, opening up the position for a race between Democrats Dan Onorato, Joe Hoeffel, Jack Wagner and Anthony Hardy Williams, and Republicans Tom Corbett and Sam Rohrer.

In Pennsylvania, Republicans and Democrats vote for only their own party in the primary election.

"We have Democratic and Republican state committee members. They're on the ballot," Byers said.

Voters also will be selecting party committee members for their precincts, she said.

Voter turnout in 2006, during the last gubernatorial race, was 18 percent for the primary, Franklin County Chief Registrar Jennie Aines said. Turnout for the 2002 primary was 16 percent, she said.

The deadline to change one's name, address or party in voter registration materials or to file new registration forms is Monday, April 19, for those who want to vote in the primary. Call 717-261-3886 for more information.

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