Two incumbent Tarentum council members lost their seats in Tuesday’s primary, according to unofficial election results.
In the Democratic race for a four-year, at-large seat, Councilman Tim Cornuet lost his bid for re-election to 3rd Ward Councilwoman Carrie Fox, who also won her party’s nomination for her four-year seat in her ward.
After serving 20 years on council, Cornuet said he was taking the result as a sign it’s time for him to leave council.
“It is what it is. It’s not really bothering me. It gives me more time to spend with my family,” he said. “I’ll blow out this six months and it’s end of story, my political career comes to a screeching halt. I’ll be 70 years old anyway. I’m getting too old for this.”
Cornuet lives in the 2nd Ward, where Democrat incumbent Councilman Scott Dadowski was unopposed for a four-year term. Calling Dadowski a friend, Cornuet said there’s “no chance” he would seek to remain on council by challenging Dadowski.
“He’s a good man and he’s done good on council,” Cornuet said. “He’s a young man. Let him have it. It’s all his.”
Only nine write-in Republican votes were cast in the 2nd Ward, which is less than the 10 a candidate would need to get on the November ballot. Write-in results are not yet available.
Fox said she will wait for election results to become official before deciding if she’ll accept one or both of the nominations she won for the November ballot. In the end, she can win election to just one.
“I’m just thrilled the people came out and supported me,” Fox said. “I love Tarentum. I’m born and raised here. I just love the people and I’m all about the community.”
Fox was not the only candidate to win nomination to more than one council seat. On the Republican ballot, newcomer Tiffany Babinsack appeared to win her party’s nomination for the at-large and 3rd Ward four-year seats, defeating incumbent Brian Snyder, who had been appointed in February to fill a vacancy.
Write-in votes could change the outcome in the 3rd Ward Republican primary. While Babinsack won over Snyder, 11 votes to eight, there were a total of 13 write-in votes.
Babinsack said she believes Fox received 11 Republican write-in votes, which would place them in a tie.
“This is my first time running. I’m not new to the area, per se, but I’m new to the process,” Babinsack said. “It was nice that people came out. It was great talking with everyone. I was really impressed by the level of support that I got.
“I really want to drive home that the local election is so impactful on how people’s day-to-day lives are affected,” she said. “It’s so important to come out and vote.”
Snyder said he was “a little let down” by the results.
“I’m still going to do my part to make Tarentum a better place to live. It’s all I can do,” he said. “Just because I’m not going to be sitting on council doesn’t mean I’m not going to be around. There’s still a lot of work to do around town and I want to be part of it.”
Snyder admitted to making a mistake when he filed to run for the four-year seat in the 3rd Ward, instead of the two-year seat he holds.
No Republican candidate appeared on the ballot for the 3rd Ward two-year seat, but there were 20 write-in votes cast. Snyder could get that nomination if at least 10 are for him.
On the Democratic ballot for the 3rd Ward two-year seat, Jim Bonner was unopposed. Bonner had run for a total of three seats in the Democratic primary — at-large, 3rd Ward four-year and 3rd Ward two-year.
“I’m pleased that I will be on the November ballot,” Bonner said. “The turnout yesterday was a little disappointing. It was enjoyable meeting and talking with the people that did come out and vote. I spent the day at the polls and it was quite enjoyable.”
There will also be a contest in November in the 1st Ward. Democratic incumbent Erika Josefoski and Republican challenger Thomas Grates Jr. were both unopposed in the primary.