Lackawanna County D.A. Race Heats Up

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SCRANTON -- On Tuesday, we should learn who will be on the Republican ticket for Lackawanna County district attorney in the fall.

The primary race pits two former coworkers against each other and things got heated.

Those two Republicans -- current D.A. Shane Scanlon and former first assistant D.A. Gene Talerico -- have exchanged a war of words lately in campaign ads.

Both men are in a hard-fought race just to win the primary and move on to face Democrat Mark Powell who's running unopposed.

The TV ads have both Republican candidates for Lackawanna County district attorney firing at each other.

One day before the primary, both men were in Scranton looking to shore up support at the polls. Current district attorney Shane Scanlon looks to win his first full term but first, he has to get past former county prosecutor Gene Talerico.

"I don't have any animosity toward any candidate," said Talerico.

Talerico talked to Newswatch 16 at his campaign headquarters in Clarks Summit. The race for this primary fight started one year ago and the former assistant D.A. points out that his opponent chose not to participate in a debate.

"We're loving it. We're loving it. I'm so disappointed we didn't get an opportunity to debate," Talerico said.

"Elections, you have a lot of emotion from the candidates, supporters. I think that happens to show during campaigns," said Scanlon.

The less-than-congenial relationship between Talerico and Scanlon may have been exacerbated when judges in Lackawanna County, mostly Democrat, picked Scanlon to succeed former D.A. Andy Jarbola.

"Our judges unanimously selected me," said Scanlon. "I think that speaks volumes."

Talerico resigned from the D.A.'s office after Scanlon took over.

Voters can't help but notice the campaign signs, billboards, and the overall tone of the race for the Republican nod for Lackawanna County district attorney.

"You hate to see that when they're knocking each other. I'd like to see what they want to do for the county, as opposed to knocking each other personally," said Steve Warhol of Peckville.

"I think they need to stand on their record and what they've done, and you'll see who the good guy is," said Robin Medeiros of Clarks Summit.