Primary Election is Tuesday

By on May 17, 2019

By Patrick Burns


With relatively few contested races in Tuesday’s closed primary election, voter turnout is expected to be light.
If history tells us anything, voter turnout in Lancaster County will struggle to get near 15 percent even though there are County Commissioner spots on the ballot.

Historic turnout percentages for a municipal primary in which commissioners are nominated are 12.02% in 2015 and 14.8% in 2011, according to Randall Wenger, Chief Clerk, Lancaster County Board of Elections and Chief Registrar, Lancaster County Registration Commission.

Obviously, turnout in a closed primary is limited because only voters registered Democrat or Republican can vote.

That means, for instance, only about 84 percent of the 6,278 registered voters in Lititz Borough are eligible to vote Tuesday. Lititz voter registration breaks down as 51.6% Republican, 32.76% Democrat, and 15.62% other.

Within the nine voting precincts in Warwick Township are 12,499 registered voters. Of those are Republicans, 58.63 %; Democrats 26.58%; and other at 14.77%.

In Elizabeth Township there are 2,231 registered voters that breaks down among 69.52% GOP, 18.33% Democrat, and 12.14% other or no party affiliation.

The long-term weather forecast presumes a partly cloudy election day with a 20 percent chance of rain and a high temperature of 78.
Turnout in the 2018 primary – when there was a compelling is the GOP primary race in the 11th Congressional District where incumbent Lloyd Smucker beat Chet Beiler – is likely to top Tuesday’s response from voters.

The GOP 2019 Primary Ballot

Two Lititz-area residents seeking county positions are Heather Adams, who’s running for Lancaster County District Attorney and Warwick Supervisor Andy Spade who is seeking the prothonotary position.

Craig W. Stedman, the current Lancaster County District Attorney is the lone candidate on the GOP ballot for Common Pleas Court Judge
Three GOP candidates are vying for two spots in the Lancaster County Commissioners race. They are Ray D’Agostino, Josh Parsons, and Douglas Brubaker.

The Warwick Area Republican Committee voted unanimously to endorse 14 candidates for various government and school board positions opening in 2020.

Among those are five Warwick School Board candidates, three for Lititz Borough Council, two for Warwick Township Board of Supervisors, and one who is running for supervisor in Elizabeth Township.

The GOP has three incumbents running for reelection to a four-year term for Warwick School Board, Nelson Peters, Todd Rucci, and Leslie Penkunas.

Two new school board candidates receiving the GOP committee’s endorsement are Lisa Miller and C. Edward Browne. Incumbent Warwick School Board directors Dr. Timothy Quinn and Scott Schaub are not seeking reelection.

Three incumbent Lititz Borough Council members looking to be re-elected are Scott Hain, from the borough’s Ward One; Shane Weaver, from Ward Two; and Andy Greiner, Ward Three.

Another new face, Kelly Gutshall, was endorsed for Warwick Township supervisor and will run for the four years remaining of Jeff McSparran’s term.

Warwick supervisors voted to appoint Republican Michael Vigunas to fill the open board seat when McSparran resigned shortly before taking his elected office in January 2018.

Vigunas has elected not to run for the board seat.

Also running for Warwick Township supervisor is incumbent Herb Flosdorf, who is seeking his third, six-year term on the board.

Elizabeth Township Supervisor Rodney May is seeking a six-year term.

Cindy Myers for Lititz Tax Collector; Brandon Judy, for a six-year term as Warwick Township auditor; Theresa Diehl for Elizabeth Township auditor.

Loren Miller, currently the township administrator, is running unopposed for Elizabeth Township tax collector.

On the GOP ballot are three candidates for superior court judge, where voters choose two.

They are Rebecca Warren of Luzerne County, Megan McCarthy King from Chester County; and Christy lee Peck from Cumberland County.

Democrats on the 2019 Primary Ballot

The list of candidates endorsed at the Lancaster County Democratic Convention includes several local candidates.

Among the largest group of endorsed candidates are six Democratic hopefuls running in the primary for Warwick School Board. The top five will earn a spot on the November general election ballot.

They include Deborah D. Ehleiter, David Morgan, Anne Pyle, Jack L. Enco, Lynn M. Stover, and Scott Althouse.

George F. Sayles, District Leader of the Warwick Democratic Committee, and Marcello Medini are on the Democrat primary ballot running for a seat on the Warwick Township Board of Supervisors.

Also on the ballot is R. Scott Gibble, who is seeking the position of auditor in Warwick Township.

In Lititz, David R. Brubaker is on the Democratic ballot seeking to represent the 1st Ward on Lititz Borough Council.

Other Democrats on the primary ballot are Craig Lehman, who is running for his third term on Lancaster County Board of Commissioners; Hobie Crystle, a candidate for Lancaster County District Attorney; and Dan Phillips, running for prothonotary.

On the Democrat list running for Superior Court Judge are Beth Tarasi, Allegheny County; Daniel D. McCaffery, Philadelphia County; and Amanda Green-Hawkins from Allegheny County.

Patrick Burns is news editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at or at (717) 721-4455.

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