Posted by on May 21, 2019 1:51 am

Categories: 2019 Municipal Primary Local News Local Politics


We’ve broken down the many races in the 2019 Schuylkill County Municipal Primary to make things a little easier to navigate.

You can find a breakdown of the tallies by following any of the following links:

Municipal Primary Big Headlines

Schuylkill County Courthouse Races


GOP incumbents George Halcovage and Frank Staudenmeier each fended off a challenge from Melissa Strauch.

Halcovage and Staudenmeier each got more than 8,000 votes. Strauch got 4,660.

On the Democrat side, Gary Hess and Joe Palubinsky weren’t challenged and move on the Municipal Election.

The top 3 among these candidates, barring any outside challenges, will win Commissioner seats.

Clerk of Courts

Incumbent Maria Casey barely fended off a challenge from Melissa Clarke on the GOP side. The final results were 6,227 to 5,953 in favor of Casey.

She’ll face Democrat Ron Pellish in the November election.

Register of Wills

There was another GOP primary challenge for this office. And another incumbent survives. Theresa Gaffney defeats Frank Dimarco in another close race, 6,418 to 5,920. Joe Ferraro, on the Democrat side, ran unopposed and moves on to November.


Of the four candidates up for this race, Bridget Miller comes out on top. She bested her nearest challenger, Larry Padora, by a tally of 3,903 to 3,233. Al Gricoski, who took over for David Dutcavich when he resigned amid controversy earlier this year, finished 3rd. Dan Daub finished 4th.

Mark Atkinson awaits Miller in the Municipal Election in November.


GOP incumbent Linda Marchalk escaped a primary challenge from Kira Adams, winning by a more than 2:1 margin, 8,207 to 4,038. She’ll face Catherine Mahon in the November vote.

School Board Races

Tamaqua Area

Here are the 5 winners on the GOP ballot: Trina Shellhammer, Thomas Bartasavage, Daniel Schoener, Larry Wittig and Melanie Dillman.

On the Democrat side, these 5 got the most votes: Liz Pinkey, Karen Tharp, Justin Startzel, Cherley Tennant Humes, and Stacey Betz.

So … they’ll do this again in November.

Blue Mountain

The winners on the GOP side: Scott Reichert, Timothy Grube, Krista Strause, Michelle Vesay, David Lafko. For the Democrat voters, they picked these 5 to appear on the ballot in November: Strause, Vesay, Reichert, Jodi Baldwin, and Grube.

So, 6 candidates vie for 5 seats in November on the Blue Mountain school board: Reichert, Grube, Strause, Vesay, Lafko, and Baldwin.

Pottsville Area

The top five choices on the GOP side are Ann Blankenhorn, Linda Wytovich, Mike Cardamone, Craig Shields, and Ashley Dewitt, in that order. Democrats picked the same 5 but in a different order: Wytovich, Blankenhorn, Shields, Dewitt, and Cardamone.

Bob Hoppe misses out on appearing on the ballot in November.

Municipal Races

Mahanoy City Home Rule

Voters in Mahanoy City choose to adopt a Home Rule government. The vote margin came in razor close. Voters favored home rule, 333-257.

For Home Rule Commissioner, Mahanoy City voters picked Thomas McCabe.



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