State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Nearly 150 Candidates Running for Offices in Centre County Primaries

by on March 18, 2019 3:30 PM

A total of 147 candidates will be on ballots in the May 21 primary election for county and municipal offices in Centre County.

The deadline for candidates to file petitions to get on the ballot was March 12. Those in contested races will cast lots for ballot positions on Wednesday and March 27 is the last day for candidates to withdraw.

In district judge and school board races, 31 candidates are cross-filed on Democratic and Republican ballots. In addition to cross-filed candidates, 47 Democrats and 70 Republicans will be on ballots.

At the county government level, all three commissioners positions are up for re-election this year. Democratic incumbents Mark Higgins and Michael Pipe are seeking re-election and are unopposed in the primary.

Republican incumbent Steve Dershem also is running for re-election and is joined on the GOP ticket by five others. The other Republican candidates in the field include former commissioners Chris Exarchos and Vicki Wedler; Rush Township Supervisor Pat Romano Jr.; Penn State student and Marion Township Supervisor Tanner Day; and Halfmoon Township resident Joe Soloski, who is also running for county treasurer.

Among county row offices, Soloski is on the Republican ballot for treasurer with W. Blaine Thomas. Colleen Kennedy is the only Democratic candidate for treasurer. They will be looking to succeed Richard Fornicola, who is not seeking re-election.

All other county row offices will have unopposed candidates in the primary. 

The three district judge positions up for election this year also are uncontested. Kelley Gillette-Walker is seeking re-election for District 49-3-02, which serves the Bellefonte and Bald Eagle Valley areas. Steven Lachman is running for a second term in District 49-3-05, which serves northern and western State College and a portion of downtown. Current State College Mayor Don Hahn is running to succeed the retiring Carmine Prestia in District 49-1-01, which serves portions of downtown State College and the Penn State campus.

In State College, four borough council seats are up for election and at least one new member will be elected, as incumbent Cathy Dauler will reach the term limit at the end of this year. Three Democratic incumbents — Jesse Barlow, Janet Engeman and David Brown — are running for re-election. Also on the Democratic primary ballot are former borough manager Peter Marshall; Penn State sophomore and University Park Undergraduate Association liaison to borough council Tom Dougherty; Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences assistant dean Deanna Behring; and Penn State student Jackson Fitzgerald.

On the Republican side, former state representative Lynn Herman is the only candidate for State College Borough Council.

For State College Area School Board, five seats are on the ballot and all five incumbents — Amy Bader, Gretchen Brandt, Amber Concepcion, Daniel Duffy and Laurel Zyndey — are running for re-election. Todd Baney is the lone challenger in the race. All six candidates are cross-filed on Democratic and Republican ballots.

In addition to the primary races, some county voters also will be casting ballots in the special election for the 12th Congressional District. Centre County Democrat Marc Friedenberg faces Snyder County Republican state Rep. Fred Keller to succeed Tom Marino, who resigned from Congress in January. In Centre County, the 12th District includes Ferguson Township, State College, Harris Township, College Township, part of Halfmoon Township and the Penns Valley Area.

Primary candidates are listed below, beginning with county offices, followed by Centre Region municipalities, then the remaining county boroughs, townships and school districts.

CENTRE COUNTY OFFICES

Commissioner
Democrat: Mark Higgins, Michael Pipe
Republican: Steve Dershem, Chris Exarchos, Vicki Wedler, Joe Soloski, Tanner Day, Pat Romano Jr.

Controller
Democrat: Jason Moser
Republican: Henry "Hank" Fifield

Treasurer
Democrat: Colleen Kennedy
Republican: W. Blaine Thomas, Joe Soloski

Prothonotary
Democrat: Jeremy Breon
Republican: Patrick Miller

Recorder of Deeds
Democrat: Georgi Bennett
Republican: Joseph Davidson

Coroner
Democrat: Scott Sayers

Sheriff
Republican: Bryan Sampsel

Register of Wills
Republican: Christine Millinder

District Judge 49-1-01
Democrat/Republican: Donald Hahn

District Judge 49-3-02
Democrat/Republican: Kelley Gillette-Walker

District Judge 49-3-05
Democrat/Republican: Steven Lachman

STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH

Borough Council
Democrat: Peter Marshall, David Brown, Jesse Barlow, Tom Dougherty, Deanna Behring, Brent Rice (editor's note:Brent Rice withdrew from the ballot on March 26), Janet Engeman, Jackson Fitzgerald
Republican: Lynn Herman

COLLEGE TOWNSHIP

Township Council
Republican: D. Richard Francke, Steven J. Lyncha

FERGUSON TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors

Ward I
Democrat: Laura Dininni
Republican: Ralph Wheland

Ward II
Democrat: Prasenjit Mitra
Republican: Janet Whitaker

Ward III
Democrat: Patty Stephens
Republican: Jeremie Thompson

HALFMOON TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: Mark Stevenson, Frank Keshvari
Republican: Ronald Servello, Patricia Hartle, Barbara Spencer, Charles Beck, David Piper

HARRIS TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: Bruce Lord

PATTON TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: Elliot Abrams, Aaron Miller

STATE COLLEGE AREA SCHOOL BOARD

Board of Supervisors
Democrat/Republican: Todd Baney, Amber Concepcion, Gretchen Brandt, Daniel Duffy, Laurel Zydney, Amy Bader

BELLEFONTE BOROUGH

Borough Council

1st Ward
Democrat: Douglas Johnson

2nd Ward
Democrat: Gina Thompson

3rd Ward
Democrat: Joanne Tosti-Vasey

CENTRE HALL BOROUGH

Borough Council
Republican: Davis Araujo

HOWARD BOROUGH

Borough Council
Democrat: Diana Goodyear, Andrew Kotzur
Republican: Donna Benner, Connie Davis

MILESBURG BOROUGH

Borough Council
Republican: Peter Delosa, Ethel Kellerman, Paul Bartley, George Holt, Greg Ritter

MILLHEIM BOROUGH

Borough Council
Democrat: Katie Blume, Robert Zeigler, Beth Cowher

PORT MATILDA BOROUGH

Mayor
Republican: Ida Lively

Borough Council
Republican: William Hamer Jr., Mark Lively Jr., Sandra Neal

PHILIPSBURG BOROUGH

Borough Council
Democrat: Sam Womer, Kathy Kalinosky

SNOW SHOW BOROUGH

Borough Council
Republican: Sandra Reiter

UNIONVILLE BOROUGH

Mayor
Democrat: Angelica Mimi Wutz

BENNER TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: Thomas Kalinowski
Republican: Nate Campbell, Larry Lingle

BOGGS TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: Leo Bomboy, Andrew Shultz, Terry Gates Jr.

BURNSIDE TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: M. Gerald Narehood

CURTIN TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: James Boone

Auditor
Republican: Gail Stover

GREGG TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: Charles Stover

HAINES TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: Fred Lingle

HOWARD TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: David Etters

Auditor
Republican: Stacy Mann

HUSTON TOWNSHIP

Auditor
Democrat: Amy Gette

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: Dale Casey Spangler Jr., Matthew Thompson, Mike Rupert
Republican: Charles Bechdel Jr., P. Dennis Bechdel, Carl Brungard Jr.

Auditor
Democrat: Nancy Dercole
Republican: Angela McGhee

MARION TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: Archie Gettig
Republican: Ken Roan

MILES TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: Ronald Hough, Joel Freed

PENN TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: Robert Fox, Henry Beiler

Auditor
Republican: Devra Wolfe

POTTER TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: Dick Decker
Republican: Jake Tanis

Auditor
Republican: Carol Corman, Bill Pyle

RUSH TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: Samuel Estright
Republican: Jason Vaux

SNOW SHOE TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Democrat: Ronald Bucha

Auditor
Democrat: Michael Murnyack

SPRING TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: Frank Royer

TAYLOR TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: Travis Cramer

UNION TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: Timothy Bruss,Tammy Hanscom, Kody Hall

WALKER TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: Jim Heckman

WORTH TOWNSHIP

Board of Supervisors
Republican: Keith Reese

BALD EAGLE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT

Board of Directors

Region 1
Democrat/Republican: Alesha Drapcho-Gavlock

Region 2
Democrat/Republican: Molly Pomeroy-Hoover, Danelle Bisel, Adam Frank

Region 3
Democrat/Republican: Jason Allen Penland, Gary Heverly Jr.
Republican: Richard Watters 

BELLEFONTE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT

Board of Directors
Democrat/Republican: Max Kroell, Mark William Badger, Donna Smith, Kimberly Hearn, Robert Lumley-Sapanski, Julie Fitzgerald, Rob Pacella

PENNS VALLEY AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT

Board of Directors
Democrat/Republican: Scott Butler, Domer Smeltzer Jr., Barry Sands, Ryan Martin

Region 2
Democrat/Republican: B.T. Schwier, Jefrey Wall

PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA SCHOOL DISTRICT

Board of Directors

District 1
Democrat/Republican: Melvin Curtis
Republican: David Potter

District 2
Democrat/Republican: Todd Jeffries

District 4
Democrat/Republican: Robert Miller



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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