Voters have plethora of choices in Tuesday’s primary

June 27th, 2015 1:27 am

First Posted: 5/14/2013

Primary Election Day is upon us.

Residents of Greater Pittston will select nominees for Luzerne County Council and the Luzerne County Controller, the Pittston Area and Wyoming Area school boards and a variety of borough and township offices on Tuesday, May 21.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

All voters will be asked to show proof of identification, but will not be required to vote by provisional ballot in the event they do not show identification. First-time voters are required to show ID.

Voters will select one candidate for Judge of the Superior Court. On the Democratic side, the candidates are Joseph C. Waters Jr. and Jack McVay Jr. Republican Vic Stabile is running unopposed.

All Luzerne County residents will vote for five members of the Luzerne County Council, the body that replaced county commissioners when Home Rule went into effect.


Ten of the 11 Luzerne County Council contenders are guaranteed a nomination in the May 21 Primary because Republicans and Democrats will each pick five candidates. The eliminated candidate will be a Republican because six are running on the party’s ballot, which means there isn’t a primary battle for nominations on the Democratic side.

The Republican candidates are Paul DeFabo, Wilkes-Barre; Kathy Dobash, Hazleton; Harry Haas, Kingston; Eugene Kelleher, Dallas Township; Alex Milanes, Wilkes-Barre Township; and Sue Rossi, Butler Township.

The five Democratic contenders who will automatically advance to November’s General Election are Renee Ciaruffoli-Taffera, Larksville; Michael Giamber, Fairmount Township; Richard “Kick” Heffron, Dallas; Linda McClosky Houck, Kingston; and Eileen Sorokas, Wilkes-Barre.


Republicans and Democrats each get to choose a nominee for Luzerne County Controller on May 21, and voters from both parties have two choices. On the Republican ticket, incumbent Controller Walter Griffith, of Kingston Township, is running against Wilkes-Barre resident Karen Ceppa-Hirko, a tax accountant at DeAngelo Brothers Inc. in Hazleton. Conyngham Township tax collector and investment securities firm office manager Michelle Bednar is running against Luzerne County councilman and former 12-year county commissioner Stephen A. Urban, of Wilkes-Barre, on the Democratic side.


In the Wyoming Area School District, four seats are open on the board. Seeking re-election are Board President John Bolin and board member John Marianacci. Also seeking seats are Toni Valenti, Ree Ree Deluca, Nick DeAngelo, Jerry Stofko, John Bonin, Michael Brown and Kimberly Yochem. All candidates are cross-filed on the Democratic and Republican tickets. One-term board member Frank Casarella, of West Wyoming, and longtime board member Gil Dominick, of Wyoming,are not running.


In the Pittston Area School district, four seats are open. Board members Bruck Knick, Marilyn Starna and R. Kent Bratlee, who took a seat on the board after a resignation last year, are on the ballot. Also seeking seats are Vito Quaglia, Marty Quinn, Roseanne Ricotta and John Adonizio. Knick, Bratlee, Quinn and Ricotta are running as a team. Board Member Bob Linskey is not seeking a second term.


For the Pittston magisterial district judge seat, eight people are running. Cross-filed candidates include Arthur Bobbouine, of Pittston, Alexandra Kokura, of Dupont, Girard Mecadon, of Jenkins Township, James O’Brien, of Pittston, Len Sanguedolce, of Pittston, and Mark Singer, of Hughestown. Two candidates, Quiana Murphy Lehman, of Dupont, and Jeffrey C. Kulick, of Hughestown, will appear on the Democratic ballot only.

The magisterial district will be larger next year, as the state Supreme Court last month expanded it by adding the townships of Jenkins and Pittston and Yatesville Borough to the city of Pittston and the boroughs of Avoca, Dupont, Duryea and Hughestown.


In Pittston City, first-term mayor Jason Klush, 36, will face competition for the Democratic slot in the May Primary from downtown bar owner Gene Rooney, 58. The winner of that race will face Republican Don Yatko in November.

Two council seats are up for grabs and only one incumbent, Democrat Michael Lombardo, is running. Running with Lombardo and Klush is former Councilman Ken Bangs, a Democrat. Also running is Democrat Barb Zangre. Joe Chernouskas is not seeking a second term.

Democrat City Controller Chris Latona is running unopposed for re-election. This is the last election his seat will be on the ballot. The Home Rule measure passed last year eliminates the position.


In Avoca, Democratic Mayor Bob Mullen is seeking another term. Council seats in Avoca represent separate wards. In Ward 1, Democrat Tom Fritz is running unopposed and one other seat in the ward is on the ballot. In Ward 2, Democrats Thomas Goul and John D. Boone are running unopposed for the two available seats. In Ward 3, Joseph Satkowski and Maryann Tigue are running for a 2-year seat and a 4-year seat, respectively. Democrat Therese Wrubel is running unopposed for tax collector.


In Dupont, Mayor Dan Lello, a Democrat, is running unopposed. Five Democrats are seeking three spots on the ballot. They are incumbents Bernard J. Zielinski, Mark Kowalczyk and council president Stanley Knick Jr. Also running are Pina Hansen and Paul Houdy Shell. Democrat Joy Tetlak-Adelstein is running unopposed for tax collector after longtime official William “Billy” Elko decided not to run.


In Duryea, Democratic Mayor Keith Moss is seeking another term and will run unopposed. Eight Democrats are seeking four seats on council. Incumbents Joan M. Orloski, Frank Groblewski, Mike McGlynn and Council President Audrey Collier Marcinko are seeking another term. Also running are Edward Ameika, Sean Shay, Valerie A. Olszewski and Jimmy Balchune. Democrat Martin Hanczyc is running unopposed for tax collector.


In Exeter, Democratic Mayor Cassandra Coleman is running unopposed. Five people are seeking three seats on Exeter Council. They are Thomas Shannon, Rick Turner, Mark Casper, Betty Ann DeRoberto and Joseph Pizano. Democratic tax collector Thomas Polachek is running unopposed.


In Exeter Township, three are running for one supervisor seat. They are Democrat Neil S. Williams and Republicans John Coolbaugh and Donald B. Kreseski.


In Hughestown, longtime Mayor Paul Hindmarsh is not seeking re-election. Democratic Councilman Wayne Quick is running unopposed to fill the seat. Four Democrats are running to fill four seats. They are Barbara Gatto, David Stefanoski, Robert Gable and Marie Griglock.


In Jenkins Township, incumbent supervisor Coreen A. Milazzo will face fellow Democrat Bob Linskey for the one available seat on the board. Democrat Jean Mudlock will run unopposed for tax collector.


In Laflin, two Republicans, Anthony E. D’Eliseo Sr. and Carl Yastremski, are running unopposed for two seats on council. Democrat Charles T. Boyd Jr. is running unopposed for tax collector.


In Pittston Township, five Democrats are seeking one seat on the board of supervisors. Filed to run are Ron Bruno Marcellini, Barbara Attardo, Carmen Timonte, David Kaminski and Michael A. Savokinas. The winner will face Republican Dominick Pepe in November. Democrat Paul Joseph Menichello is running unopposed for auditor and Democrat Rita Timonte is running unopposed for tax collector.


In West Pittston, Democratic Mayor Tony Denisco will run unopposed. Four Republicans are seeking four council seats. They are Brian Thornton, Peter Musinski, Barry Hosier and Barry Stankus. Republican George L. Miller is running unopposed for tax collector.


In West Wyoming, Democratic Mayor Joseph T. Herbert will run unopposed. Five Democrats are seeking three seats on council. They are Walter J. Stevens Jr., Michael J. Dolan II, Gloria Bubblo, Ralph R. Confletti and Daniel Grescavage. Democrat Robert F. Connors is running unopposed for tax collector.


In Wyoming, Democratic Mayor Bob Boyer and Democratic Tax Collector Paul J. Konopka are both running unopposed. Wyoming elects members of council by wards and each of the three wards has one candidate running. In Ward 1, Democrat Michael Flynn is running unopposed; in Ward 2, Democrat Diane Smiles is running unopposed; in Ward 3, Republican Michael Baloga is running unopposed.


Nobody’s name will appear on the ballot for the mayor’s seat in tiny borough of Yatesville in the May primary. Mayor Vince Tossi’s seat is on the Luzerne County list to be on the ballot. He said he was under the assumption he had an additional year and a half on his term. Luzerne County Election director Marisa Crispell-Barber said the seat was on the ballot in 2011 to fill the unexpired term of former Mayor Joseph Chiumento, who resigned in 2010. All Tossi needs is 10 write-in votes in the May Primary to get on the ballot for the General Election in November.

Also running in Yatesville for three council seats are Democrats Anthony J. Rostock and Anthony Russo and Republican Theresa Ritz Mulesky.