Lucas, Costanzo lead ballot in Washington County
It appears two well-known names will join the Washington County Court of Common Pleas next year.
With 100 percent of 184 precincts reporting, Mike Lucas won the Democratic nomination, while Valarie Costanzo secured the Republican spot.
According to unofficial Washington County election results, the Democrat ballot totals are: Lucas, 7,839; Costanzo, 7,788; Alan Benyak, 3,953; Blane A. Black, 3,408; Charles E. Kurowski, 2,777; Lane Turturice, 2,056; Peter V. Marcoline III, 1,570; and Tom Fallert, 895.
The Republican ballot totals are (according to unofficial results): Costanzo, 3,331; Lucas, 3,207; Turturice, 2,623; Benyak, 2,054; Black, 1,650; Fallert, 1,069; Kurowski, 1,003; Marcoline, 938.
Since Lucas and Costanzo both apparently won the top two party nominations, they essentially secured themselves victories in the November general election.
Lucas, 45, of Carroll Township, said he was “overwhelmed” with his apparent victories.
“It's just been so gratifying and amazing,” said Lucas, the county's first assistant district attorney and an associate with the law firm Bassi, Vreeland and Associates. He and his wife, Anna (Giordano), have three children. He is the son of Walter and Ann Lucas of Charleroi.
Lucas congratulated Costanzo and thanked his supporters and the voters. He also commended his fellow candidates for their campaigns.
“Everyone ran a civil, professional campaign,” he said.
As the county's lead prosecutor, he has successfully tried and gained convictions in more homicide cases than any other prosecutor in Washington County in the past 15 years.
Costanzo, 43, of Cecil Township, has been a magisterial district judge for 14 years, serving the areas of Cecil Township, McDonald and Robinson.
She is a former assistant district attorney and private attorney with civil and criminal law experience, and served as president of the Special Court Judges Association of Washington County.
She could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
The new judges will fill the vacancies created by the sudden retirements last year of judges Paul Pozonsky and Janet Moschetta Bell.
Pozonsky, who handled the majority of the county's criminal cases, had served for 15 years and had five years remaining on a 10-year term. Pozonsky resigned June 29, 2012, after the district attorney's office questioned his order to destroy evidence in 17 criminal cases.
Moschetta Bell announced in November her intention to retire after six years on the bench.
There are currently only four full-time judges. Judges earn $173,271 annually.
Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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