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Voters have plethora of hopefuls to pick from

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 1:01 a.m.

Democrats and Republicans are going to the polls for the primary to nominate candidates to stand in November for state, county and municipal offices.

County Election Bureau Director Wendy Buzard said she expects this year's voter primary turnout to be similar to previous years, between 20 percent and 25 percent of registered voters.

That's despite the fact that there are so many candidates seeking nominations this year, she said.

At the county level:

One Republican and one Democrat are seeking the nomination for coroner; two Democrats and one Republican are running for sheriff, while two Democrats and two Republicans are seeking votes for jury commissioner.

Democrat District Attorney Scott J. Andreassi is unopposed, and no Republicans are on the GOP ballot.

Armstrong School District candidates include three incumbents and three challengers seeking to fill two seats as plans ramp up for constructing a high school in Manor Township.

In municipal races, the Kittanning and West Kittanning mayoral races are unusual because of the number of candidates seeking election.

Six Kittanning mayoral candidates — four Democrats and two Republicans — have weighed in on issues regarding police visibility, street safety and the feasibility of adding a K9 to the police ranks.

In West Kittanning, five candidates have stepped up for nomination in a community operating with two part-time officers and as the borough faces a half-million-dollar ticket-price for a new borough building.

Michael Holly is the only Democrat running for mayor in West Kittanning.

Holly, owner of Illusions, an adult novelty store in West Kittanning, is also running for a position on council.

“We definitely need a change,” said Holly.

He sees a greater need for transparency regarding financial issues and believes there should be more communication between council members and the public.

If elected, Holly said he would like to work with the police department and council to re-examine the police schedule. The borough employs two part-time officers.

Incumbent Mayor Bernie Bowser Jr., a Republican, has served as mayor for the past 16 years.

As a West Kittanning volunteer firefighter for 28 years and a former Kittanning police officer, Bowser said the safety and well-being of the community has always been his top priority.

If re-elected, Bowser said he plans to continue to work with the District Attorney's Office and the county drug task force team. He also is interested in exploring partnerships with the police department and surrounding boroughs.

At the state level, Democratic candidates Joseph C. Waters Jr. and Jack McVay Jr., and Republican candidate Vic Stabile are seeking nominations for the position of Superior Court Judge.

Ballot questions

This year, residents of Wayne, West Franklin and Worthington must answer yes or no to a ballot question:

Liquor: In Wayne, voters will be asked to consider whether they are in favor of the granting of liquor licenses for privately-owned public golf courses for the sale of liquor by White Oak Farms Inc., 1009 State Route 839, Dayton.

Library: The question, appearing on West-Franklin and Worthington ballots, asks residents if they wish to provide financial support for the Worthington-West Franklin Community Library through an annual tax of 1 mill ($1 per $1,000 assessed property value).

More information:

According to the Board of Elections, poll workers are required to ask all voters to show an approved form of photo identification.

However, voters who do not have the proper identification will be allowed to vote.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and remain open until 8 p.m.

A complete list of candidates can be found on the county website at

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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