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2021 Election

Major Upset in Pottsville Area School Board Race?

pottsville school board primary election 2021


pottsville school board primary election 2021

It appears the sitting board president at Pottsville Area School District will be out by the end of this year.

Noble Bud Quandel failed to grab one of the 4 top spots for either the Democrat or Republican Party during Tuesday’s election. (See Results from 2021 Municipal Primary Election).

Stephanie Buchanan grabbed the most votes from both parties Tuesday. Bob Thomas finished 2nd in each Primary, Harry Ciavarella and Jerome Urban finished 3rd and 4th, respectively, in the Democrat and GOP elections.

Pottsville School Board President Likely Out After Finishing Last in Primary Election

The top 4 vote-getters in the Pottsville Area school board race from each party’s election advance to the November General Election. All 5 candidates cross-filed to appear on both ballots in the Primary.

Here’s a look at the unofficial final results from Tuesday’s election:

Pottsville Area School District

(DEMOCRAT) 4 seats for a 4-year term (19 of 19 reporting)

  • 1195: Stephanie Buchanan (D-R)
  • 1100: Bob Thomas (D-R)
  • 916: Harry Ciavarella (D-R)
  • 880: Jerome Urban (D-R)
  • 853: Noble Bud Quandel (D-R)

(REPUBLICAN) 4 seats for a 4-year term (19 of 19 reporting)

  • 1191: Stephanie Buchanan (D-R)
  • 1143: Bob Thomas (D-R)
  • 915: Harry Ciavarella (D-R)
  • 849: Jerome Urban (D-R)
  • 841: Noble Bud Quandel (D-R)

It’s important to note that these results are unofficial until they’re certified.

Urban finished 27 votes ahead of Quandel, his father-in-law, in the Democrat Primary. The difference between the two candidates, and 4th and 5th place, in the GOP Primary is just 8 votes.

Disrupting the Faction

If these results hold, it means the renegade campaign launched by Bob Thomas, the father of Scott Thomas, the outspoken critic and former member of the Pottsville Area school board, was successful.

Thomas finished second in each party’s primary and just 143 overall votes behind the leading vote-getter, Stephanie Buchanan.

Buchanan ran alongside Ciavarella, Urban, and Quandel on the Keep the Tide Rising faction. Urban and Quandel are incumbent candidates.

The foursome and Thomas sparred often prior to Tuesday’s election. Both were very active on social media and highly critical of each other. Thomas promised transparency if he got elected and was mostly critical of the current board’s decision to enter into a long-term deal to install a solar array on the roofs of Pottsville schools.

Quandel defended himself and his campaign mates against the Thomas campaign’s attacks and pointed to a recent reversal of fortune in the school district’s finances.

The Keep the Tide Rising campaign thanked its supporters following Tuesday’s election but did not address the potential Quandel loss on its Facebook page:

Thomas celebrated the victory with his son and campaign manager Brian Manning, the former Business Manager at Pottsville Area:

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ConcernedPottsvillian

    May 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Im not sure how I feel about Scott Thomas using his father as a proxy for the school board position while he soaks up the Florida sun. What happens when there is sensitive information? Is Bob going to tell his son so he can council him on how to vote? Time will tell. I hope Bob has a mind of his own and isn’t a proxy vote for his son, who less we forget, was apart of the board who put the district into financial ruin by fighting the charter schools viability, cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, to fight a losing battle( HE WAS THE COMMITTEE CHAIR DURING THE SECOND RECHARTERING PROCESS)

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