It appears the Republican and Democratic incumbents were successful in advancing to the November election for their bids for Huntingdon County Commissioner during Tuesday’s primary election.
Mark Sather and Scott Walls, Republican incumbents seeking reelection for Huntingdon County Commissioner for second four-year terms, easily won Republican nominations for their spots with 2,452 votes, or 26.45%, for Walls and 2,252 votes, or 27.53%, for Sather.
Republican challengers Barry Wright received 1,271 Republican votes, or 13.71% of the votes; Nancy MacNamara received 1,439 votes, or 15.52% of the votes; and Gary O’Korn received 1,521 votes, or 16.41% of the Republican votes.
The tone among the Republican incumbents winners this morning was one of humility, where both Sather and Walls were quick to thank those who have supported them throughout the primary election season.
“I am humbled by the results and very appreciative of all the supporters throughout all of Huntingdon County who worked tirelessly throughout the long day,” said Sather. “The voters have seen the leadership provided and decisions made in keeping with the best interests of the county. It has been a total team effort and the victory is to be shared by many.”
Walls added that it appeared the team approach with both himself and Sather throughout the election campaign was one that resonated with supporters. ”I’m very pleased and humbled by those who had confidence in us as well as the outpouring of support,” said Walls. “I think the people realized the team approach is best for moving Huntingdon County forward. going forward, we’ll continue to build a team to support business and continnue to make the county business friendly.”
Jeff Thomas, the only Democrat on the ballot for the Democratic primary for Huntingdon County Commissioner, was able to easily secure the nomination with 1,279 votes, or 67.56% of the vote. If he wins in November, Thomas will be serving a third four-year term as commissioner.
“Again, I’m happy and humbled that people selected me in primaries,” said Thomas. “It’s been an honor and privilege, and I hope to be able to get the vote for another four years in the fall. I just want to thank everyone for their support.”
Thomas also congratulated Sather and Walls for their wins in Tuesday’s primary.
“We’ve worked well together these last four years, and I hope we can work together for the next four years,” he said.
All three Republican challengers expressed their disappointment over their losses in Tuesday’s primary election, and but Wright expressed his frustration with low voter turnout.
It should be noted that out of 15,886 registered Republican voters in the county, only 5,281 cast their ballots in the primary election. Out of 7,608 Democrats registered to vote in the county, only 1,692 votes were cast, or 24.27% of the vote.
“I’m disappointed in the turnout again,” said Wright. “It truly bothers me that we can only get around 30 percent of people who are registered to vote to the primary. Even the number of people who are registered to vote represents a small portion of people who are eligible to be registered to vote.”
But, Wright recognizes the will of the people, and he pledges to give Walls and Sather his support moving forward.
“I think we need to give those gentlemen our support and whatever we’re able to do to make things better for the county through them,” he said. But, I’ve enjoyed the experience. I wish I could have made a better showing for my supporters. I thank each and every one.”
O’Korn, in addition to thanking those who supported him, pointed out that that support allowed him to run a grassroots campaign.
“We had the opportunity to discuss the issues with people face to face,” he said. “I want to thank you all for the contributions and to those who worked the polls and were involved in the campaign.”
He also believes those who were running against Sather and Walls were doing so for the right reasons.
“We saw that things are not getting done, meetings are not open and transparent, and effective leadership is lacking,” said O’Korn. “However, we were not able to cut through the half-truths and outright false statements presented. I wish the incumbents the best because we need better results for the next four years. I will support them any way that I can.”
MacNamara, said she’s grateful those who supported her throughout the campaign had confidence in her.
“I’m sorry we didn’t make it,” she said. “I’m disappointed, but the voters have spoken, so we move on and support those who were chosen.”
She hopes, however, the issues raised during the campaign that involved the incumbents can be things that can be changed in the future.