Newcomers, incumbents register for Connellsville City, school board races

| Friday, March 15, 2013, 4:57 p.m.

Three Democrats are vying for the nomination for Connellsville mayor in the May 21 primary election, according to the unofficial list of candidates who filed petitions with the Fayette County Election Bureau this week.

Vying for Connellsville mayor are newcomers Greg Lincoln and Joshua Dewitt, both Democrats, seeking to unseat Mayor Charles Matthews, also a Democrat.

In races for two, four-year city council seats, two Democrats and one Republican are seeking nominations.

Businessman Aaron Zolbrod is running on the Republican ticket for city council. Tim Bechtold and incumbent Tom Karpiak are seeking the Democratic nods for council.

There are two seats open on city council. Karpiak's term is up and Councilwoman Marilyn Weaver has opted not to seek re-election.

Newcomer Johanna Hardin several weeks ago announced her intention to seek a seat on city council as a Democrat. However, she experienced an error when filing, she said. She is not on the candidates list. Fayette County Election Bureau officials said Hardin did not file a petition.

“I messed up on my petition registration,” Hardin said. “I have to run as a third-party candidate, but still intend to run in the fall.”

There are four open seats on the Connellsville Area School Board. Incumbents Paul Means Jr., P.J. Carte and Gary Wandel, all of Connellsville, have cross-filed, seeking re-election for four-year terms. School board member Tom Dolde declined to seek another term.

Also seeking nominations and cross-filing for the four-year seats are Scott Stretch Casterwiler of Dunbar, James Duncan and Bryan Kisiel, both of Connellsville, and Jay Fox III and Toni Sanner, both of South Connellsville.

There are four seats open on the Frazier School Board. Incumbents Deborah Vargo Alekson of Perryopolis, Thomas Shetterly of Perryopolis, and David Simmons of Grindstone are seeking re-election. All are cross-filed. Also seeking a nomination are newcomers Francy Angelo of Perryopolis and Kevin Brown of Perryopolis. Both are cross-filed.

In South Connellsville, Democrat incumbent Mayor Pete Casini is running unopposed for the nomination.

There are four, four-year seats and one, two-year seat open on council. Seeking nominations for the four-year South Connellsville Council seats are Republicans Karen Holbrook and Kimberly Laws and Democrats Clyde Martz, Jim Swink and Mark Ward.

Democrat Neil Armstrong was the only candidate to file for the two-year council seat.

There are three, four-year seats open on Dawson Council. Seeking nominations are incumbents Patricia Lint, Phyllis Newell and John Nudo, all Democrats.

In Dunbar Borough, John Williams is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor and Norman Gordon is seeking the Republican nomination.

There are four, four-year seats open on council. Three candidates are listed. They include Republicans Scott Brown and Norman Gordon and Democrat John Maddas.

There is one, two-year seat open. Democrat A. Robert Opst is seeking the nomination.

In Everson, four four-year seats are open. Seeking nominations are Michael Banaszak and Eric Christner, both Republicans, and George Sherbondy, Democrat.

In Perryopolis, incumbent Mayor Tim Smith is seeking the nomination on the Democratic ticket. No other candidates are listed.

There are six candidates vying for four, four-year seats. All are seeking Democratic nominations. They are Paul Black, Pete Gardner, Ron Lombard, Frank Masney Jr., Charles “Bud” Petroksy and George Usher.

All mayorial positions are for four-year terms.

The candidate list is unofficial until the end of March.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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