campaign election ballot box vote

While the contest in the 62nd Legislative District to succeed state House Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana, is now a three-way affair, so far it appears incumbents remain unopposed in two other area state House districts covering parts of Indiana County.

Although one candidate came close, write-ins from several area counties did not add up to anyone getting the 300 votes needed to qualify for a party nomination to challenge either Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Vandergrift, (Westmoreland County), in the 55th District or Rep. Jeff Pyle, R-Ford City, in the 60th District.

Calvin Creighton, of Kiskiminetas Township, said he only fell “10 to 15” votes short of what would have been needed for the Democratic nod in the 60th, which covers much of Armstrong County as well as portions of Butler and Westmoreland counties and three Indiana County townships.

Scattered returns, including handfuls of votes for candidates in other area districts, were reported by election officials in Butler and Indiana counties for that nod.

In Armstrong County, however, with support from the county Democratic Committee and state Committeeman Chuck Pascal, among others, Creighton netted 262 write-ins, according to the county Voter Registration and Elections Department in Kittanning.

Meanwhile, 78 voters cast ballots for Laurie J. Kubli, of West Franklin Township, who quit what could have been an unopposed bid for the Democratic nod to take on Pyle, who himself received 54 Democratic write-in votes. According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, Kubli withdrew before the primary election.

In two townships in Butler County, Kubli received 20 votes, while Creighton may have received some of 11 other write-ins, though county officials in Butler said those votes went to candidates with “several different spellings.”

There were 17 write-ins for that nomination in Blacklick, Conemaugh and Young townships, according to Indiana County’s Elections and Voter Registration Office. Barbara L. Peace, a candidate for the county Democratic committee from a Conemaugh precinct, received two, while “Barb Peace” received one.

Indiana County Chamber of Commerce President James B. Struzzi, eventual Republican nominee in the 62nd District, received two. Homer-Center School Director Logan Dellafiora, eventual Democratic nominee in the 62nd, received one, while “Dellafiora” received one.

On May 31, the Pennsylvania Department of State approved an independent opponent for Struzzi and Dellafiora, Daniel A. Wilson, of White Township, a businessman and former president of AFSCME Local 2772’s unit of nonprofessional employees in Indiana Area School District.

Scattered results also were tallied for a variety of would-be nominees for the Republican nod in the 55th District, which includes Saltsburg in Indiana County as well as parts of Armstrong and Westmoreland counties.

There were 105 write-ins from Westmoreland precincts for that race, county election officials in Greensburg said, with Petrarca getting 16, 2016 GOP nominee Michael Geiselhart seven (with an eighth to “Mike Geiselhart”), Chad McCutcheon getting five, and the rest being divided among multiple candidates.

Elsewhere, in the 66th District, which covers northern and eastern Indiana County as well as all of Jefferson County, Kerith S. Taylor, of Brookville, was unopposed on the Democratic ballot last month for the right to challenge incumbent Rep. Cris E. Dush, R-Brookville, in November.

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