Light competition in Luzerne County School Board elections


As is often the case, most of the 11 races in the Luzerne County School Board have little to no competition in this year’s general election.

Crestwood – Four seats, five candidates. Starts Randy Swank and Barry Boone take on newcomers John Macri, Michael Maguire and Marla Campbell. Campbell runs as an Independent while the rest are ranked on both Democratic and Republican tickets.

Dallas – Five seats for four-year terms with six candidates, one of whom is also running without opposition for an available two-year seat. Newcomer Kelly Kavanagh-Watkins is almost guaranteed a seat at the table by running unopposed and unopposed for the two-year job and one of five four-year seats. Among the five other candidates for the four-year posts, the newcomer Amanda Faneck has not crossed paths and only appears on the side of the Republicans. Incumbents Susan Allen, Christine Swailes and Sherri Newell, as well as newcomer Michael DiMare, are on both tickets.

Greater Nanticoke Region – Five seats, five candidates, all crossed. Barring an unexpected increase in paperwork, newcomer Mark O’Connor is expected to join incumbents Wendy Wiaterowski, Megan Tennesen, Frank Shepanski Jr. and David Hornlein Jr. as the winners.

Hanover region – Four seats, four candidates, all crossed. Three incumbents – Stacy Bleich, Vic Kopko and Rick Stevens are set to return to the board for another term, joined by newcomer Richard Oravic.

Hazleton region – Four seats, four candidates, all crossed. While the larger Luzerne County district had competition in the primary, the ability to cross and win nominations from both parties gained ground without competition aside from unlikely success in writing. Incumbents Linda DeCosmo and Ed Shemansky are set to return for another four years, joined by Gerald Feissner and Anthony Ryba.

Lac-Lehman – Four seats in three regions, four candidates, all incumbents. One of only two districts in the county to be elected by region. In Region 1, Kevin Carey is on both tickets and unopposed. In region 2, Alfred DeAngelis is only on the Republican ticket but without opposition. Region 3 has two open seats but only two candidates on the two tickets: Drew Salko and David Paulauskas.

North West Zone – Four seats, four candidates, all on the two tickets. The smallest district in Luzerne County in terms of registrations, newcomer Jeffrey Pierontoni is set to join incumbents Jennifer Yarnell, Tara Biller and Peter Lanza.

Pittston area – Four seats, five candidates. Holder John Adonizio is on both tickets, while two other holders are on opposite tickets: Marty Quinn Democratic and Bruce Knick Republican. Newcomers Katherine Healey and Matt Marriggi are on both tickets.

Wilkes Barre sector – Four seats, five candidates. Three holders are on the two tickets: Joe Caffrey, Denise Thomas and Ned Evans. Former board member James Susek is also on both tickets in a bid to return to the board. Frequent board critic Sam Troy makes another attempt to sit on the board as an independent.

Wyoming region – Four seats, six candidates. Thanks to independent candidates Joseph Kopko and Paul Porfirio, the Wyoming region is the most competitive race in the county. As independents, they face an uphill battle as the four remaining candidates are on both tickets. Only one incumbent is on the ballot, Nick DeAngelo. The other three are Michael Supey, Joseph Smiles and David Alberigi.

West Wyoming Valley – Four seats, four candidates, all crossed. Wyoming Valley West is the other district that elects council members by region. John Perfetto is the only candidate for the single seat open in region 2. William Hardwick is the only candidate for a single seat in region 5. Paul Keating is the only candidate for a single seat open in region 6. And Janet Cussatt is the only candidate for seat open in Region 8. Cussatt is already a member of the board, having been appointed by the board in June to complete the term of the late Gary Richards.


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