Polls Open in Special Election for 114th District

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. -- Polls are open in part of Lackawanna County as voters in the 114th Legislative District pick a new state representative.

It's a special election to replace Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich who died in October.

It was a morning where we saw anxious candidates and not-so-anxious voters. There is just one race with two candidates on the special election ballot.

Republican Frank Scavo cast his ballot at the Old Forge Senior Center just after 8 a.m.

Scavo's main platform plank is the elimination of property taxes. In the last weeks, Scavo's campaign was overshadowed by anti-Muslim comments he posted to social media years ago. Scavo feels that will not hurt his campaign.

"Many voters have said, 'Frank, you're speaking nothing more than what we've said.' Americans are keenly aware of the attack on our country and ourselves," Scavo said.

Scavo pulled down the online posts and has apologized.

At the same time Scavo and his wife were voting, Democrat Bridget Malloy Kosierowski and her family were casting their ballots in Waverly. This is her first time running for elective office.

"I think it's born out of a life of health care and I wanted to help with health insurance and make it accessible and affordable for people," said Kosierowski.

While not predicting an outcome, Kosierowski said this first race has been a positive experience.

Turnout is a big issue in this special election at some polling places, like one along Milwaukee Avenue in Old Forge. Canines occasionally outnumbered voters. "Big" the dog was there. The voters were not.

"It makes me disappointed in people because this is important. This is your representative. People should be out choosing their representative," said Monica Salerno, judge of election.

Fewer than 30 voters were there in the first couple of hours the polls were open. The judge of election says it is usually twice that amount, but people still did come out and vote, albeit not in huge numbers.

"I always come and vote. It's always important. It's my duty as a citizen," said Marlene Chiavacci of Waverly.

The winner will finish the remainder of Sid Michael Kavulich's term in Harrisburg.

Polls close at 8 p.m.

For a complete list of polling place locations for this special election, click here.

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