Dunio secures district judge post

Matt Dunio secured his place on both the Democratic and Republican ballots this fall to effectively ensure he will succeed Magisterial District Judge Steven Jackson.

According to Tuesday night’s unofficial results in the race for District Judge of Magisterial District 24-3-02, encompassing Logan and Allegheny townships as well as part of Tunnelhill Borough, Dunio’s 998 votes on the Republican ballot represented 45 percent of the vote. That also mirrored his 45 percent share of the vote of the Democratic side, where he garnered 325 votes.

Dunio beat out three other candidates that included fellow Logan Township police officer Rick Benzel, attorney Edward E. Zang and auto repair business owner Ed C. Kruez Jr., to win on both ballots and deny any of the three a chance of beating him in November.

“I’d like to start off by thanking my campaign team for their hard work and guidance, my parents for their continuous support my entire life and my loving wife and my children for their sacrifices during the campaign,” the 45-year-old Dunio said.

Dunio said he wanted to thank the voters who came out to support him and also said he appreciates all the voters who took the time to head to the polls on Tuesday.

Dunio, a 23-year law enforcement veteran who serves as a Logan Township police officer alongside Benzel, acknowledged he had name recognition but also credited hard work, which included hitting the pavement to knock on doors six days a week after he announced his candidacy in January.

Dunio said he thought it was important to knock on every door on each street so he could introduce himself to the voters, wrapping up each evening at dusk and taking Sundays off from campaigning to spend time with his family and also not interrupt residents who were doing the same.

He added that he also wanted to thank his fellow candidates for keeping the campaigns competitive but not making anything personal.

“Everyone in this race ran a good campaign,” Dunio said.

Benzel, whose 686 Republican votes came out to 31 percent of the vote, said that although it didn’t turn out the way he had hoped, “a quality person will be taking the position” of district judge.

Benzel said he was thankful for all the support and the hard work of his campaign committee.

Zang, who had 289 Republican votes equal to 13 percent, said he was happy for Dunio and said he knows he will serve the community well as district judge. Zang said he was also appreciative of all the candidates for running a clean race.

Kruez, who brought in 246 Republican votes, or 11 percent of the vote, did not return a call about the race Tuesday.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.