Not a lot of choices for voters in the primary

First Posted: 4/17/2013

Where have all the candidates gone?

The list of borough mayoral and council and township supervisor candidates for party nominations in the May 14 primary election in Pittston and Greater Pittston is small.

There are 37 mayoral, council and supervisor seats on the ballots. If there were just two Democratic and two Republican candidates for each seat, there would be 148 candidates, but there are only 62 and 26 of those are unopposed.

Candidates running unopposed is nothing new but in this cycle, the lack of candidates is greater than usual. In Avoca’s First Ward, there is only one candidate, Democrat incumbent Tom Fritz, for two 4-year seats.

In Yatesville, there are no candidates for the mayoral nominations, though incumbent Anthony Lizza plans to mount a write-in campaign. He needs at least 10 write-ins.

Of the nine other mayoral slots in the boroughs, only one is contested. That’s in Pittston where Gene Rooney is taking on incumbent Jason Klush on the Democrat side. In Avoca, Dupont, Duryea, West Wyoming, and Wyoming and, incumbent Democrat mayors are running unopposed.

In Hughestown, where incumbent Hindmarsh chose not to run, Democrat Wayne Quick is running unopposed.

West Pittston incumbent Tony Denisco is the only Republican mayoral candidate and he is unopposed.

Of the 62 candidates for mayors, councils and supervisors, only 10 are Republicans, five of those in West Pittston, including Denisco and four incumbent councilmen who are also unopposed. There are no Democrats running in West Pittston.

The only other Republican candidates are John Coolbaugh and Donald Kreseki who are running against each other for an Exeter Township supervisor Republican nomination, Dom Pepe who is unopposed for the Pittston Township supervisor nomination, Theresa Ritz Mulesky who is unopposed for the Yatesville council nomination and Mike Baloga who is unopposed for a Wyoming Third Ward council nomination.

One race which bucks the trend is for the Democratic nomination for one Pittston Township supervisor seat. Five candidates — Ron Marcellini, Dave Kaminski, Carmen Timonte, Barbara Attardo and Mike Savokinas — are running for that nomination.

Four borough council races are contested. In Dupont, there are four Democratic candidates — Mark Kowalczyk, Paul Houdyshell, Bernie Zielinski and Stan Knick — for three nominations for 4-year seats. In Duryea, there are eight Democratic candidates — Valrie Olszewski, Audrey Marcinko, Sean Shay, Jim Balchune, Joan Orloski, Ed Amieka, Frank Groblewski and Mike McGlynn — for four nominations for 4-year seats. In Exeter, there are five Democratic candidates — Joe Pizano, Tom Shannon, Mark Casper, Betty Ann DeRoberto and Rich Turner — for nominations for three 4-year seats.

In West Wyoming, there are five Democratic candidates — Gloria Bubblo, Walt Stevens Jr., Michael Polan, Dan Grescavage and Ralph Confletti — for three nominations for 4-year council seats.

In Pittston, there are three candidates — Mike Lombardo, Ken Bangs and Barb Zangre — for two nominations for 4-year council seats. In each case, there are no Republicans on the ballot.

In Jenkins Township, there are two candidates, Bob Linskey and Corine Milazzo, for one Democatic nomination for one 6-year supervisor seat.

The Pittston Area and Wyoming Area School Boards each have 4-year terms on the ballot. At Wyoming Are, all nine candidates are cross filed as Republicans and Democrats — Kimberly Yochem, Nick DeAngelo, Jerry Stofko,Ree Ree DeLuca, John Bonin, John Bolin, Toni Valenti, Michael Brown and John Marianacci.

At Pittston Area, five candidates — Marty Quinn, Roseann Ricotta, Kent Bratlee, Bruce Knick and Marylin Starna — are cross filed and two, John Adonizio and Vito Quaglia, are running for Democratic nominations only.

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