Commissioner post among most-contested on ballot


The Republican nomination for county commissioner and Tyrone Borough Council, as well as seats on the Altoona and Hollidays­burg area school boards are among the most-contested races on Blair County’s primary ballot.

There is also a four-man race to fill the seat of retiring Magisterial District Judge Steven Jackson.

According to a list posted Tuesday afternoon on the Blair County elections office website, six Republicans and two Democrats are vying for their party’s two nominations for the three commissioner seats. By law, one commissioner must be from a different political party.

Commissioner Terry Tomassetti announced last year that he would not seek re-election, ensuring one open seat. Republicans filing for commissioner are: incumbent Bruce Erb, Chuck Gojmerac, Bruce Kelley, Amy Webster, Debra Weston and Joseph A. Zolna. Incumbent Ted Beam and Laura Burke have filed as Democratic candidates.

Incumbent Patricia Ross is being challenged by Erin Kathleen Myers for the Republican nomination for county coroner.

All four candidates for Magisterial Judge District 24-3-02 have cross-filed and will appear on both parties’ ballots for the seat being vacated by Jackson. Running are: Rick Benzel, Matt Dunio, Edward C. Kreuz Jr. and Edward E. Zang.

Seven Republicans and one Dem­ocrat are on the ballot for the four nominations of each party for Tyrone Borough Council seats. They are Democrat Jarod A. Sather and Republicans Shirley A. Dawson, Robert B. Dollar Sr., Thadeus Graham, Charles B. Mills, Ken Patterson, Whitney Preston and William F. Wiser III.

Party voters in the Altoona and Hollidaysburg area school districts will pick five nominees each to advance to the general election.

In Altoona, nine candidates — Michael Baker, Sharon L. Bream, Donald “Dutch” Brennan, William J. Ceglar, Eric C. Haugh, Ron Johnston, Frank J. Meloy, Devin Spradling and Josh Turiano — will appear on both ballots, while Clair Lauver will only appear on the Republican ballot.

In Hollidaysburg, five candidates will appear on both ballots, while six others are only on the Republican ballot. Cross-filing are: Brandon R. Burns, Kirk J. Dodson, Lonna Zook Frye, Thomas D. McCaffrey and Timothy Surkovich. On only on the GOP ballot are: Nicole L. Hartman, Lois Kaneshiki, Manny Nichols, Jennifer Smilnak, Kenneth Snyder and Douglas G. Stephens

Both parties have a contest for nominees for Altoona mayor. Mark Geis and Bridgette Jackson are seeking the Democratic nod, while Christie Jordan is challenging incumbent Matthew Pacifico on the Republican ticket.

Other contested primaries for township supervisors – all Republican for one seat, unless noted — are:

Allegheny: Fred N. Imler II and Manny Nichols.

Blair: Robin L. Cadwallader and Nicole Lynn Germaux.

Catharine: Michael L. Fay and Ralph F. Rispoli.

Frankstown: James R. Callahan and James W. Grove.

Logan (2 seats): Wesley R. Barnhart, Patrick T. Jones and Joe Metzgar.

Snyder: Melvin Light and Robert W. Nelson.

Woodbury: Craig L. Hamilton and Alan C. Lyons.

Contested Republican borough council seats are:

Hollidaysburg Ward 5: James J. Mielnik and Mark L. Shawley.

Hollidaysburg Ward 7: Jeffrey J. Ketner and Richard A. Scholton.

Roaring Spring (3 seats): Rodney L. Green, Dennis Igou, James L. Musselman Jr. and Dane Noel.

The other contested school board election is Claysburg-Kimmel Greenfield precincts 2 and 3: Roger L. Knisely and Jeremy R. Knott (both cross-filed).