The forthcoming election of three Lawrence County commissioner seats and the county treasurer job promises two competitive races for the fall. On May 16, eight people will compete for three commissioner seats in a primary election.
Candidates for the primary have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. to submit their petitions. According to county Elections Director Tim Germani, the school board and other candidates registered late Tuesday, though many of their names had already been posted on the county website. However, he said that his office might add to the publicly available list as they continue to update the files database.
Ten candidates are vying for five open seats on the county commission; five Republicans and three Democrats. In 2019, commissioners were compensated with $82,124 plus perks, while treasurers received $74,306 plus benefits in 2023. The Northeast Area Consumer Price Index will determine future annual increases through 2027.
Voters in the Democratic primary for commissioner in May will choose two candidates from among four Democrats, while voters in the Republican primary will choose four candidates from among eight Republicans. At the November election, voters will choose three finalists, two from one party and one from the other. Now, there are two Republicans and one Democrat on the board of commissioners.
Glenn G. Jones Jr., a corrections officer at the county jail; Dan Kennedy, the current supervisor of Wilmington Township; Gale E. Measel Jr., a former supervisor of Neshannock Township and current committeeman of the Lawrence County Republican Party; Shirley A. Sallmen, a resident of Shenango Township; and Dan Vogler, the incumbent commissioner for the past 19 years, are all running as Republicans for the four-year terms.
Chris Sainato, a former state representative from Pennsylvania who served for 28 years, Jeffrey A. Scrim, a retired firefighter from New Castle who served on the New Castle School Board for 8 years, and incumbent Commissioner of three years Loretta Spielvogel are the three Democratic contenders.
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In his 16th year in office, incumbent County Treasurer Richard L. Rapone is running for reelection on the Democratic ticket. His term in office lasts four years. William Messner, an investment adviser and U.S. Navy submarine veteran, is running for treasurer on the GOP ticket. Both will win the primary and then face off against one another in the general election this coming November.
In addition to electing a district judge for a six-year term in Court 53-3-01, the forthcoming primary will also feature contests for county coroner, prothonotary, and clerk of courts. Incumbent District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright has filed to run for reelection on both ballots. There is no one standing in his way.
Richard “R.J.” Johnson, the current county coroner, runs unopposed on the Democratic ballot for a second four-year term in office. None of the Republicans have put themselves forward as a candidate.
Incumbent Jodi Klabon-Esoldo is running for reelection as prothonotary and clerk of courts, a position she has held for the past four years without a primary challenger among Democrats. A Republican candidate does not exist.