Intrigue, but no local surprises in primary

There’s an old sarcastic remark that goes: “What if you gave a party and nobody showed up?” The question for Tuesday’s primary election, at least early on, would have been: “What if you held an election and nobody showed up to vote?”

Voter turnout yesterday started light and only slightly picked up through the day. Even in Concord Township with a contested GOP primary for Township Council — which may have some intrigue later — one polling place had only three people in line when the polls opened at 7 a.m. By 8 a.m., only eight more had people showed up.

Things weren’t much better at Chadds Ford Elementary School, one of the polling places in Pennsbury Township. Chester County Sheriff Bunny Welsh, working the polls for the Republican Party, said only about three people came out during the first hour and Craig Huffman, of Chadds Ford, said only about another three people showed up to vote there between 8:15 and 9:15 a.m.

However, turnout did improve. Chester County Voter Services reported a 19.6 percent turnout by the time polls closed last night. There were no surprises in the results, however.

In Chadds Ford, Birmingham and Pennsbury townships, incumbent Republican supervisors — Frank Murphy, Charles “Scotty” Scottoline and Scott Boorse respectively — ran unchallenged and will likely earn reelection in November since there were no Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for the position.

There was a slight twist in Concord Township, however. Incumbent Republican Councilman Joshua Twersky was unendorsed for reelection by the Republicans, yet there was a write-in campaign on the Democratic Party side. He said those write-in votes should enable him to run in November as a Democrat. The write-in campaign got 766 votes split between Twersky, Jai Oberjoi and Ken Hemphill for four-year terms.

Representing Concord New Republicans, Twersky said, "CNR has dealt a fatal blow to the Republican Party in Concord Township."

Meanwhile, the four endorsed Republicans — incumbent John Crossan, and newcomers Michael Harding and Peter Pagano won the party’s nomination for four-year terms on the council, and Dana Rankin won the nomination for a two-year term.

There were also no surprises in the race for Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board Region C director nominations. While supposedly nonpartisan and candidates able to cross-file, voting still broke down by party.

Republican voters went with incumbent John Murphy and newcomers Steve Jones and Jon Trigg. Democrats selected Erin Talbert and Jennifer Brown. All five will run again in November for the three seats in the region which serves Chadds Ford and Pennsbury townships.

Talbert commented on the process of running for elected office for the first time: “As Jen [Brown] and I debriefed last night, one of our biggest takeaways was gratitude and inspiration at the strength and involvement level of the community. Although overall turnout may have been low, each person that showed up to vote had a voice and many had specific things to say. As school board candidates, it was an invaluable opportunity to hear from a broad swath of residents.”

Brown agreed with Talbert’s comments, adding  that she’s “looking forward to continuing the campaign to serve our community.”

John Murphy had good words for everyone involved in the process.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the school board over the last four years and I am grateful that the voters from both parties gave me the opportunity to serve another four years. There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm across all five polling places and I had a great day meeting members of our community. I would like to congratulate all five candidates who ran in Region C as they will all be on the ballot again in November,” he said.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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