It was another good Election Day for the Republican Party in Schuylkill County on Tuesday. But it wasn’t too bad for Democrats, either.
Each party came away victorious in the two big county-wide races of the 2021 Municipal General Election.
In the race for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Christina Hale was the top vote getter, according to the unofficial final results released by the County Election Bureau Tuesday night. She finished just ahead of Chris Hobbs, and the two head to the County bench with the win.
Democrat James Conville finished a distant third in the race, garnering 10,807 votes, compared the Hale, who got 20,703.
That’s a big win for the GOP but the party didn’t fare so well in the Schuylkill County Sheriff race.
Incumbent Joseph Groody picked up 18,358 votes for Sheriff, topping Republican candidate Doug Litwhiler and his 12,657 votes. That’s almost a complete flip-flop of the vote in the judicial race, with Groody getting nearly as many votes as Hobbs and Litwhiler getting a little bit more than Conville.
The GOP picked up another big win, largely ceremonial, by taking back the Mayor’s office in Pottsville City Hall.
The man known as 12 Volt Dave Clews, who served as Pottsville City Councilman, defeated incumbent Mayor James Muldowney by a tally of 1,406-1,244.
Clews will be Pottsville’s first GOP Mayor of the 21st Century. However, the rest of City Council is all Democrats and that party put 2 people onto the board on Tuesday with uncontested victories in the election.
So, while it’s nice to celebrate a Republican win in the city, there’s a long way to go to flip Pottsville red.
Schuylkill County Municipal Election Recap
Around the rest of Schuylkill County, here’s a look at how the contested races played out on Election Day.
School Board Elections
There were 2 contested races in school districts across Schuylkill County on Tuesday. And one of them, it’s impossible for us to declare a winner at this time.
In Blue Mountain School District, 4 seats were up for grabs. Republican Roy Heim got the most votes, followed by cross-filer Rosanne Zelusky, Republican Anne Usuka, and cross-filer Marie Riegel. However, there were more write-in votes cast in Tuesday’s election than Riegel received. We’ll follow up on this race once results are certified.
And in Minersville Area School District, 4 candidates emerged victorious. Cross-filers Jessica Walsh McGrath and Sarah Newton are joined by Republicans Christopher Bowers and Cynthia Lubinsky as winners of that race.
Borough Council and Township Supervisor Elections
In Ashland, Republicans did extremely well.
Daniel Weikel was voted in as Mayor with a win over Ray Walacavage. And it was a clean sweep for other Republicans in Ashland, too, in their bids for borough council seats. They went 4-for-4 there as Adam Bernodin Jr., Francis Menne, C. Jerome Schmoltze won over 4 Democrats.
Republican Joseph Carvajal emerged victorious in the race for a Branch Township supervisor seat, defeating Democrat Desiree Smith.
In a tight race in Deer Lake, cross-filed Brent Stramara appears to have won that race. Republicans David Crouse and Joe Sterns appear to have edged out Democrat Charles Trubilla.
For East Union Township supervisor, Republican Jill Careyva doubled up on Democrat Jack Possessky for the win.
In Foster Township, Independent candidate Eugene Maley topped Democrat Alfred Gober, 70-60, in the unofficial final vote total.
Frackville had 4 borough council seats up for grabs. Cross-filers Steve Kuzio and Ed Beneshunas were the top vote getters, followed by Republicans Russell Cunningham III and Steve Tertel.
The Gilberton Mayor’s race was really tight. Based on the unofficial final results, it looks like Republican Michael Van Allen edged out Democrat Edward Martofel, 81-74.
For Mahanoy City council, Democrat Thomas McCabe coasted by Republican Dennis Weissner.
In Mahanoy Township, Democrat James Stevens topped Anthony Merclinsky for a supervisor’s seat.
Democrats swept the race for 3 McAdoo council seats, with John Shigo, Peter Minneci, and Robert Wills appearing to emerge victorious.
In tiny Mechanicsville, it looks like Democrat Karen Hoak was the top winner in the race for 3 seats there. She’s joined by Democrat Cindy Bohr, and Republican George Wilcosky.
Minersville voters picked two from each party on Tuesday. Republican Katielynn Milbrandt got the most votes, followed by Democrats Ashley Securda and Jamie Kuehn. Republican Joseph Slovick II picked up the 4th seat based on unofficial final results. It should be noted that the two candidates behind Slovick II finished just 2 and 3 votes behind, respectively, so that result could possibly change.
There was a 2-year council seat up for grabs, too. It appears Republican Terry Rafferty secured that win. Rafferty finished 6th in the race for the 4-year seats.
In a contested race for Norwegian Township supervisor, Democrat Thomas Dallago topped Republican Joseph Kowalchick by more than 200 votes. Kowalchick is the creator of the popuilar Norwegian Township News and Concerns page on Facebook.
For Pine Grove Township supervisor, Republican Shelby Sattizahn cruised by Democrat Bruce Kosack for the 6- and 2-year terms available.
Republicans swept the three 4-year seats up for grabs on Schuylkill Haven council. Kurt Montz, Kevin Kline, and Jesse Kavanaugh won those rather convincingly. For the 2-year term, Kline also won that race.
Up in Shenandoah, Republican Katie Catizone secured the most votes for the 4 seats available. Cross-filer James Burke finished second, followed by Democrat Leo Pietkiewicz, and Republican Diane Korenda.
Former Schuylkill County Controller Christy Joy easily topped Libertarian Gregory Woll for South Manheim Township supervisor.
Out in Tamaqua, Republican Mary Linkevich got the most votes for the 3 seats up for grabs. She’s joined by cross-filer Kathy Kunkel and Republican Richie Linkhorst in the winner’s circle there for the 4-year terms. Republican Jay Hollenbach Jr. almost beat Kunkel by a 2-to-1 margin for the 2-year seat.
And in Tremont, Republicans William Ochs and James Scheibley are joined by Democrat Roger Adams for the 3 spots available on borough council there.