GOP mayoral hopeful has strong showing in Saxonburg
The Republican candidate for Saxonburg mayor came up just a few votes short of cornering the election, a closer look at unofficial results from Tuesday's primary found.
Incumbent Mayor Jody Pflueger received 46 votes in the Democratic primary. That put her just ahead of Republican Pamela Bauman, who appears to have received as many as 43 write-in votes as a Democrat.
Bauman, a mid-term member of council, easily carried the Republican nomination, besting former Mayor Brian Antoszyk 119 to 76.
Pflueger became the borough's first female mayor and its first Democrat in decades when she upset Antoszyk in 2009.
Bauman on Wednesday said her showing as a write-in on the Democratic ballot happened purely as a result of her asking people at the poll to write her in. She won election to council as a write-in two years ago.
“I did request as nicely as I could if they were a Democrat would they consider writing me in. That's really as far as the campaign went,” she said. “It kind of happened at the polls yesterday. It was very ... I want to say unexpected, and rewarding and wonderful.”
Bauman said she arrived at the poll at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday and was there until closing at 8 p.m.
“I wanted to be the first one to vote, and I was; my husband was second and I was first,” she said.
Pflueger could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Results posted at the borough building, Saxonburg's polling place, showed Pflueger with 44 votes on the Democratic side. There were 47 write-ins, with 42 of them for Bauman, including a few different takes on the format and spelling of her name. Five Democratic write-ins went to Antoszyk.
Results at the Butler County courthouse included absentee ballots and increased Pflueger's tally by two, to 46 votes. They also included one more write-in vote.
The county has not begun processing write-ins. Even if the additional write-in goes to Bauman, Pflueger would still be ahead by three votes.
Write-ins were not a factor on the Republican ballot, in which only three write-ins were cast, apparently all for Pflueger.
Bauman said she wants to be mayor to “bridge the gap” between the community and police. Oversight of police is the primary responsibility of a borough mayor.
With abundant support from Republicans and apparent support from a good margin of Democrats, Bauman appears to be well-positioned for the Nov. 5 general election, but she isn't taking anything for granted.
“I have some major campaigning to do between now and then and I'll do that, whatever it takes,” she said.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.