It’s finally Election Day here in Schuylkill County.
And it’s hard to remember the level of interest being so high for a Municipal Election. As it is every 4 years, the balance of power in County government is at stake at the polls today.
A long-serving County Commissioner is not a contender this time around while another is seeking his 4th term in office. And there’s an extra-crowded field looking to unseat everyone on the ballot this year.
The race for County Commissioner is just one of many races that’s contested on ballots this year for the 2023 Municipal General Election in Schuylkill County.
Another countywide race getting a lot of attention is for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
Three other row offices at the Courthouse are up for grabs, too, as Democrats look to regain control of power here, despite facing a massive disadvantage in voter registration numbers.
There are also plenty of municipal and school board races happening all over Schuylkill County today.
Polls open at 7 a.m. on Election Day and voting continues until 8 p.m. Check out our list of updated polling locations in Schuylkill County to find out where you need to vote today.
Schuylkill County Election Preview
Let’s take a look at all the big races happening today across Schuylkill County …
Normally, we’d see 4 candidates slugging it out for the 3 open seats for County Commissioner during a Municipal Election year.
There are 6 this year, with the addition of a Libertarian candidate, Gregory Woll, and a write-in candidate, Mary Jo Moss.
Can either of them pull off what would be a major upset? Or can they peel enough votes away from a weaker favorite for the position, possibly opening the door for a Democrat majority at the Courthouse for the first time in more than a decade?
Democrat incumbent Gary Hess picked up the most votes during the May Primary Election, but that was more likely due to the fact that 8 people were vying for 2 of the GOP nominations up for grabs that night.
Republican Larry Padora took the first of those 2 nominations by garnering more GOP votes than any of his competitors in May. Fellow Republican and current Commissioner Boots Hetherington finished second.
However, Hetherington finished just ahead of Moss, who decided not to back the party’s nominees and ran a mostly self-funded write-in campaign (or stamp-in campaign) looking to reverse her fortunes from the Spring vote.
Hess is running alongside Rita Anczarski-Baldino on the Democrat ticket.
Woll is the first Libertarian candidate to seek a Commissioners’ job since 2015.
That’s just one of the showcase races for a countywide office on the ballot this year. The others we’ll be following are for:
- Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas Judge
- County Treasurer
- County Clerk of Courts
- County Register of Wills
Municipal Elections – A GOP Majority in Pottsville?
It could be an historic night in the City of Pottsville if the results for City Council go the way Republicans are hoping.
Decades have gone by since the GOP held anything close to a majority at City Hall, specifically on Council.
That could change on Election Day.
Republicans Bobby Weaver and Tara Gabardi Grochowski are looking to earn two spots on City Council and that would give the GOP a rare majority at City Hall.
They’ll be facing Democrats Andy Wollyung and Dottie Botto in what’s become a particularly ugly campaign, highlighted by numerous social media fights between the candidates and other Council members.
That race is just one of many up for grabs in contested municipal votes on Tuesday. Here is where there are others we’re following:
- Branch Twp.
- Cass Twp.
- E. Union Twp.
- Foster Twp.
- Port Carbon
- St. Clair
- Schuylkill Haven
- Union Twp.
- West Penn Twp.
School Boards – Is Wittig on the Ropes in Tamaqua?
there are 4 contested school board races that’ll be decided on Election Day in Schuylkill County, too.
And in one of them, a longtime incumbent director is facing possible ousting by his constituents.
Board President Larry Wittig didn’t perform very well in the Primary but did get enough votes to make it to the General Election ballot.
There are 5 seats available on Election Day at Tamaqua Area, with 7 candidates vying for those spots.
Wittig finished 4th of 7 in GOP voting at the Primary, which was just enough to get him onto the ballot on Tuesday. He finished dead last on the Democrat side.
Here’s a look at the other races for school board in Schuylkill County
- Blue Mountain
- Minersville Area
- North Schuylkill