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Recount affirms outcome of Fayette district judge's race for Kasunic over Mancuso

| Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A recount for a Fayette County candidate for district judge showed Soni Shaner Mancuso picked up two paper ballot votes, but they do not appear to change the primary election results, according to the election bureau.

The recount showed candidate Richard A. Kasunic II still five votes ahead of Mancuso to claim the Republican nomination in the primary.

Kasunic picked up one vote in the recount, election bureau director Larry Blosser said.

Kasunic appears to have won the office of district judge in a consolidation of districts represented by District Judges Jesse Cramer and Dwight Shaner, Shaner Mancuso's father.

All results remain unofficial, the bureau website notes.

Last week, Mancuso filed a petition with the prothonotary's office, seeking specified precinct recounts and claiming irregularities in the May 21 primary.

The petition noted $1,200 — $50 per machine — was paid to open the 24 precincts' machines.

On Thursday, Judge Steve Leskinen handed down an order for the election bureau to recount the Republican and Democratic paper ballots in those districts.

On Monday, Blosser said his office had completed that recount, which showed Mancuso picking up one Republican vote in Dunbar Township and one Democratic vote in Washington Township.

Kasunic picked up one Democratic vote in Upper Tyrone Township, and Cramer picked up one Democratic vote in Everson, Blosser said.

Mancuso could not be reached for comment Monday.

Preliminary results show Kasunic received the Republican and Democratic nominations for the six-year term in Magisterial District Court 14-3-04.

Kasunic, 39, of Dunbar Township received 38 percent of the Democratic vote and 28 percent of the Republican vote.

Shaner Mancuso, 39, of Dunbar Township, received 27 percent on the Republican ticket and 20 percent on the Democratic ticket.

Blosser said he submitted his report to Leskinen on Monday.

Leskinen's order of last week remanded Mancuso's other “issues” to the election board for a hearing.

Three other county candidates have election challenges pending.

According to the prothonotary's office, Dunbar Township Supervisor John Tabaj is seeking a recount of Republican votes.

Roy Thayer, supervisor candidate in Bullskin Township, has a hearing Tuesday before Leskinen, appealing write-in name variations or surnames not counted.

A similar hearing is scheduled for Brownsville mayoral candidate James Lawver on Wednesday before President Judge John F. Wagner Jr.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

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