At least two new CASD board members elected

Eight votes separate five candidates in So. Coatesville council race

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

Election2013There will be at least two new members of the Coatesville Area School District Board of Education and it could be days or even weeks before its is known if there will be one more new member, because of write-in votes. The same is true for who the winners are in a razor-thin Borough Council race in South Coatesville, with five candidates separated by just eight votes, after Tuesday’s elections.

In the heated Coatesville Area School District Board of Education election — passion sparked over the resignation of former Superintendent of Schools Richard Como — at least two new board members will be seated next month.

In CASD Region I, Deborah Thompson, a Democrat, won easy victory with 54.6% of the vote over Republican Robert Beckershoff (34%), while independent incumbent Tonya Thames Taylor got just 11% percent of the vote.

In Region II, Stu Deets, a Republican, outpaced Alain Foster 61-7% to 37.3% for the seat being vacated by Joseph E. Dunn Jr.

In Region III, because of write-in races by Democrats Greg Wynn and Greg Axe, it was unclear whether Republican incumbent Laurie Knecht and GOP newcomer Kim Mammel won election. Knecht got 1,098 votes, while Mammel got 1,023. But there were 1,753 write-in votes, and it will depend on the split of those votes as to whether Mammel was able to hold off the write-in candidates, although it is likely that Knecht won reelection.

In the somewhat quieter municipal races — all of which saw higher turnout because of the CASD races — there was more of mix of results.

In Coatesville, in the Second Ward race, Democrat Marie Hess ran unopposed for City Council and got 97.8% of the vote.

In the Fourth Ward, current City Council president David Collins ran unopposed and won 97.3% of the vote.

In the Fifth Ward, for a two-year unexpired seat, there were no candidates on the ballot, but some 43 write-in votes were cast.

In the At-Large City Council race, current incumbents Ingrid Jones and Joseph Hamrick ran unopposed.

In South Coatesville — where borough voters were seeking to elect the first new mayor in decades to replace the retiring James Washington — Democrat John Long edged James Marino, 113-92.

In the Borough Council race, Republican Craig Morris won one of four seats, earning 126 votes. After that, the margins were razor-thin, with Democrat Barbara Newsuan getting 106 votes, incumbent Democrat Sylvia Washington getting 103, incumbent Republican Terry Bruno getting 101 as the top four vote-getters. But Republican Amy Olin got 100 votes, and incumbent Republican Joseph Frisco got 98, while Democrat incumbent John Washington got 94 and Democrat Gilbert Parker got 94. There were five write-in votes recorded. A recount is expected.

In Modena, again, there were no candidates for mayor and a total of eight write-in ballots cast.

In the Borough Council race, independent Jimmy Bricker and Republican incumbents John McCorkle and Kenneth Lloyd won three council seats.

In Caln, in a tough-fought campaign for three seats on the Township Commission, Republican newcomers Cynthia Haynes Eshelman and John Contento won seats, while incumbent Democrat Joshua Young finished between the two to stay on the board. Challenger Adam Thomas trailed Contento by 120 votes and lost his bid for a seat.

In West Brandywine, Doug Smith ran unopposed for supervisor and won 92.1% of the vote.

In East Fallowfield, in a hotly contested race for supervisor, Republicans Charles Kilgore and Steven Herzog held off Democrats Kevin Richardson and Cheryle Hanson, in a bid to replace retiring supervisors Chris Makley and Chris Amentas.

In West Caln, Republican incumbent Allen Martin held off Democrat John Haines 598-362 for supervisor.

Republicans in general fared very well in county-wide elections, but local and school board races told a somewhat different story, as Democrats won seats on some of local school boards and local government bodies in Tuesday’s elections.

Based on unofficial numbers from Chester County Voter Services, turnout was fairly light, with just 22.7% of registered voters casting ballots county-wide.

In the county-wide races for row offices and Court of Common Pleas, the GOP won an easy sweep. Patrick Carmody and Jeffrey Sommer held off Julia Malloy-Good for two spots on the Court of Common Pleas. In the row office races, incumbent Republican county treasurer Ann Duke easily defeated Democrat Nina Haslip, and GOP newcomers Norman MacQueen (Comptroller), Robin Marcello (Clerk of Courts), Gordon Eck (Coroner) won election over the Democratic slate of Carmen Boyd, Tisha Brown and Howard Jones.

The four county judges on the ballot for retention, Jacqueline Carroll Cody, Edward Griffith, John Hall and James P. MacElree II all won bids for retention on the Court of Common Pleas.

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