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Franklin Regional incumbents have tough time in primary | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Franklin Regional incumbents have tough time in primary

Patrick Varine
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Top row, from the left: Bill Yant Jr., Debra Wohlin, Michelle Milan McFall, Scott Weinman, Ed Mittereder, Susan Stewart-Bayne and Herb Yingling III. On the bottom row, from the left: Denise Podowski, Dennis Pavlik, John Koury, Gary English, Richard Arnold and Tabitha Riggio.

A raft of Franklin Regional school board candidates opposed to the Sloan elementary campus project will appear on the Republican side of the ballot in November, and two incumbents will not have a chance at re-election in the fall.

“The No. 1 thing I heard from people in this community is that they don’t want to see their taxes go up,” said Ed Mittereder, the only candidate who will appear on both ballots in November.

The top five vote-getters from each party’s primary move on. Nine candidates cross-filed.

Unofficial results showed the top finishers on the Republican ballot were: Scott Weinman (15%), Bill Yant (12.6%), Mittereder (13.3%), Denise Podowski (10.9%) and Gary English (10.9%). They all ran with a shared platform centered around the slogan “Restore Taxpayer Trust.”

Moving on from the Democrats’ side are: Herb Yingling (12.7%), Susan Stewart-Bayne (11.2%), Michelle Milan McFall (11.2%), Mittereder (8.3%) and Richard Arnold (8.1%).

Stewart-Bayne, McFall and Arnold did not cross-file.

The $54 million Sloan project — in which school district officials proposed renovating Sloan Elementary School into a K-2 building and constructing a new elementary for grades 3-5 — has garnered strong opinions both from school board members in favor of the project and community members who began attending school board meetings to register their opposition.

Several community members who regularly spoke out against the project earned a spot on the general election ballot Tuesday night.

Incumbents John Koury and Dennis Pavlik fell short in their bids for re-election. Yingling was the only other incumbent running in the primary.

Mittereder said the message his group put out into the community was simple.

“Open your eyes, read, and be informed,” he said. “People didn’t understand why the current school board is pushing so hard for the Sloan project, especially once they found there’s more than 300 empty desks in the schools. … I hope that come November, we have the same kind of success with the community.”

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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