2017 Pennsylvania Primary Preview

SCRANTON -- The contest for the republican nomination for Lackawanna County district attorney is this county’s major race.

Shane Scanlon is the incumbent. He was the assistant district attorney, appointed to the job in January of 2016 when District Attorney Andy Jarbola was elected to the Court of Common Pleas.  Now, Scanlon wants a four-year term, on his own.

Scanlon faces off against one of his co-workers, Gene Talerico. Talerico was an assistant district attorney for more than 20 years, rising to the post of the first assistant before he left the office when Lackawanna County’s judges chose Scanlon as Jarbola’s replacement.

The winner meets Mark Powell in November. He is unopposed for the democratic nomination.

In Luzerne County, five of the 11 seats on county council are up this year. There are nine names on the democratic side of the ballot, five on the republican. So, all five republicans will appear on the ballot again in November. The winners take office in January of 2018, the seventh year since Luzerne County voters decided to do away with the three-commissioner form of government.

The only state wide contested races this time around are four seats on the superior court, and two on commonwealth court, and one on the supreme court.

In Scranton, the largest city in our coverage area, voters and candidates are gearing up for a re-match.

Incumbent Bill Courtright is unopposed for the democratic party’s nomination. The former councilman is going for his second four-year term running the city. Courtright says he deserves a second term because he helped get Scranton’s finances straightened out in the first.

Unopposed on the republican side is the man Courtright beat in November of 2013, Jim Mulligan.  Mulligan charges city taxpayers need and deserve more accountability and transparency than Courtright has offered while running the city.

By the way, Courtright’s Facebook page says he’s encouraging write in votes on the republican side.

Courtright or Mulligan could be dealing with a slightly different city council. Three seats are up this time around. There are six names on the democratic ballot, only one on the republican.

In November, we had the presidential race, plus the hot senate race between Pat Toomey and Katie McGinty.

Turnout on Tuesday is expected to be much lower than what we saw last year.

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