Scranton Mayoral Race Taking Shape

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The special election for mayor of Scranton is beginning to take shape. Several people are vying for nominations to serve the remainder of former mayor Bill Courtright's term.

In November, voters in Scranton will elect a mayor to serve the last two years of Courtright's term after he pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges last month.

Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have a little more than a month to get their names on the ballot.

The two main parties in the city are just starting to mull over the pool of possible nominees.

Since Courtright's resignation and guilty plea about a month ago, there's been a lot of political shuffling in the Electric City. There's a new interim mayor in place and close to a dozen people, both in and out of government, have expressed interest in running for the office in November.

Bob Sheridan heads up the Scranton Democratic committee which will pick the party's nominee later this month. The deadline to apply is this Friday.

"We've had several resumes come in so far. I know there's supposed to be some on the way. I haven't received some from some people who said they're going to run. Some have. We'll wait until Friday. See what the deadline brings," Sheridan said.

Sheridan says he's looking for a candidate who can help fight the negative image left by Courtright's arrest.

"Someone who has the intelligence, has the knowledge, wants an open door with the residents of the city of Scranton, and be honest most of all."

There has been less interest on the Republican side. Only one person has applied so far, but they do have more time; the deadline to apply for the Republican nomination is August 18 and officials say the goal is to select someone by August 20.

The director of the Lackawanna County Republican Party says since the former mayor was a Democrat whose administration ended in scandal, some Democratic voters may vote Republican in November.

The race is open to independents, too. Some have already stopped by the Lackawanna County Department of Elections to pick up the necessary paperwork.

"So far, we've had about five people that have picked up nomination papers. As of today's date, no one has filed yet," said Marion Medalis, Lackawanna County Department of Elections.

Independents need 212 signatures to get on the ballot.

We'll know what the ballot will look like in about a month.

"The parties have until September 16 to actually get the nomination certificates into our office," Medalis said.

The representatives from the Democratic and Republican parties we talked to both said they expect to have everything done before that September 16 deadline. We could know who the parties nominate in about two weeks.

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