OK, I’m back after a week of vacation and a busy week figuring out who’s going to be on the ballot.
A few things about who will be on the ballot that you might not have noticed:
— Former Scranton School Board President Lyn Ruane will remain on the board for the rest of the year, but she won’t be there next year because she decided against running again. The school board could have five new members if incumbents Paul Duffy and Carol Oleski lose. Both were appointed to the board and have never won a school board election.
— Taylor Council President Ken Mickavicz and Taylor Councilwoman Christine Nezlo Nehme decided against running again so two of Taylor’s three seats are wide open. Councilman George Kofira is the only incumbent seeking re-election.
Former Councilwoman Gloria Gazda Thiel told me the open seats are a reason she decided to run again. She isn’t the only former council member trying a comeback. Democrat Ed Derenick is too.
— In Archbald, three incumbent council members aren’t running – Council President Joseph Simon, Councilman Bill Williams and Councilman Bill Durkin, who was appointed last year to replace Shirley Grabin Barrett when she became mayor.
Councilman Randy Grandinetti is the only incumbent council member seeking re-election. He and three others who filed nominating petitions – Daniel Hart, Thomas Mancuso and Erin Owen – will likely get a free ride to the Democratic nomination because they’re the only four who filed for the four open seats. Of course, someone can always beat one of them with a write-in campaign.
Archbald is one of the those Midvalley boroughs where Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans (5 to 1) so whoever wins the Democratic nomination will likely win the seat in November. That is, unless someone gets a Republican nomination through write-in votes and challenges the Democrats or, even more unlikely, a third-party candidate gets on the ballot and wins.
— In Clarks Summit, former Councilman Robert Bennett is trying to get back on the council for the third straight election. He lost in 2011 and 2013.
— In Jessup, Councilwoman Patricia Geroulo Kurpis isn’t seeking re-election. Three seats are up with 11 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. Two incumbents, Councilman Randy Santarelli and Councilwoman Lorraine Stevens, are seeking re-election. This is one of the most hotly contested races in the county probably because of the power plant issue.
This is another one of those Midvalley boroughs where Republicans are rare (6.5 to 1 for the Democrats).
— In Throop, incumbent Councilman Tony Gangemi decided against seeking another term. (Democrats outnumber Republicans 4.5 to 1 here.)