CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. -- The two Republican challengers in the race for Lackawanna County commissioner have declared victory over incumbent Republican commissioner Laureen Cummings.
The room was buzzing with supporters celebrating the victory of Mike Giannetta and Chris Chermak.
Giannetta is one of the two Republicans endorsed by the party. He is a Scott Township supervisor who was elected to the county government study commission in 2013. Originally a registered Democrat, Giannetta switched to Republican, only to register as an Independent to run for supervisor in 2017. He changed parties again last year.
Chermak is the other endorsed Republican. Chermak, from Dalton, is a graduate of Abington Heights High School who works as an HVAC technician. He worked for his family’s auto business in Clarks Summit and has been part of Elk Mountain’s Ski Patrol since 1997. He holds certifications as an Emergency Medical Responder, a single-engine pilot, and a SCUBA diver.
We spoke to the candidates about their victory and the broad appeal of their ideas.
“It’s a great feeling. We worked hard. It was a long road and it was an uphill battle, but we got it done. We knocked out an incumbent and the people of Lackawanna County they’re tired, they’re ready for change, and they know we are the two guys who can do it. So here we come November,” said Chermak.
“There can be no doubt people don’t care about party registration and whether you changed or not. They care about the individual whether you’re competent whether you are promising change,” said Giannetta.
As incumbent minority commissioner, Cummings was seeking a second term and did not have a running mate. Cummings, from Old Forge, narrowly defeated fellow Republican Bill Jones for the final commissioner’s seat in 2015.
So far, the candidates have not received a call from Cummings, but they are declaring victory.