PITTSTON — Super Tuesday was super successful for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Luzerne County and Greater Pittston had a lot to do with that.
In Tuesday’s primary election in Pennsylvania, Republication hopeful Trump picked up 57 percent of the vote, while GOP rival Ted Cruz had 21.6 percent of the vote. Ohio Gov. John Kasich earned 19.4 percent. On the Democratic side, Clinton copped 56 percent to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, who had 43 percent of the vote statewide.
Luzerne County was a big boost to both Clinton and Trump. Trump squeezed out 77 percent of the vote in Luzerne County, while Clinton had 53 percent. A strong number of voters were seen at all precincts in Greater Pittston, according to several different Judges of Elections.
According to the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections, about 41 percent of registered voters hit the polls for the primary election. The last time the county had a turnout like Tuesday’s was in 2008 when President Barack Obama won the nomination on the Democratic side.
Susan Bartoli, Judge of Elections for Exeter Borough’s Ward 2 at St. Anthony’s Parish, said the polling location had about twice as many votes as of lunch time on Tuesday. She also mentioned this was the highest she’s seen since the Obama-Clinton primary in 2012.
One of the biggest problems Exeter was having on Tuesday was the location of polling places. In the past, Exeter was home to four wards. One was taken away this year, leaving just three voting locations for the borough. Two were at St. Anthony’s.
“That’s been the biggest complaint,” she said. “We’ve combined two wards together this year. This is certainly a bigger turnout, but Obama’s was bigger.”
Leaving Ward 2 in Exeter, Democratic State Committee Member Paul J. Dezinski was most interested in the presidential race and the attorney general races. He said he’s supporting Clinton for president because of her experience.
“Donald is not experienced enough to be president,” Dezinski said. “He doesn’t deserve to be a leader of this country. I would support Hilary Clinton 100 percent.”
Presidential nominee supporters were working at Pittston City Hall and St. John the Evangelist Church in Pittston, home to Ward 2 and Ward 3, respectively. Charles Miller, of Pittston, was there supporting Trump and passing out information to prospective voters. Joe Biscotto, Pittston, was there in support of Sanders, and relaying information to passersby.
Miller supported Trump and believes Hilary Clinton would not be a good fit for the country.
“He’s the very best person for office,” Miller said. “We don’t want to have Hilary in there because that would be a disaster for the country.”
Biscotto has been working for Sanders’ campaign for several months now.
“I believe in income equality, which is getting worse and worse,” he said. “(Sanders) is for the working people and helping poor people.”
Carmen Falcone, a Pittston Area senior and a first-time voter, was a Trump follower before the billionaire was considered for president. Falcone, 18, said it’s nice to be able to get out and vote for the first time.
“It was like we didn’t have a voice before,” he said. “Now we can express what we want and before we couldn’t do anything about it.”
As a open Trump supporter, Falcone said he has always studied successful people and that’s one of the reasons why he voted for Trump. He said he sees Trump as being something different.
According to Biscotto, voting was also heavy in Pittston.
“It’s been the most energized campaign I’ve seen,” he said.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick