Turnout Low for Northampton County Primary Election

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A sign outside the polling station at the Saucon Valley Community Center on Northampton Street in Hellertown directs voters to the polls.

On a hot and humid primary election Tuesday that had turned stormy by late afternoon, turnout was comparatively low, despite high-profile races in the area and beyond.

A sign outside the polling station at the Saucon Valley Community Center on Northampton Street in Hellertown directs voters to the polls, where turnout was light.

According to unofficial Northampton County election results, just 22.27 percent of registered Democrats and 19.15 percent of registered Republicans went to the polls Tuesday, for a combined total turnout of about 21 percent.

While Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli was the top vote-getter in the 7th District Congressional race in Northampton County by a healthy margin, he lost the Democratic nomination to attorney Susan Wild, who garnered significantly more votes in Lehigh and Monroe counties and was ahead of him by about five percentage points–or 1,600 votes–with more than 90 percent of precincts reporting unofficial tallies district-wide Tuesday night.

Democrats Greg Edwards, Roger Ruggles, Rick Daugherty and David Clark trailed behind Wild and Morganelli.

On the Republican Congressional primary ballot, former U.S. Olympian and Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein was the declared winner albeit with a razor-thin majority over businessman Dean Browning.

With 100 percent of 7th District precincts reporting their vote totals, fewer than 200 votes separated the two competitors. Nothstein’s unofficial vote total was 15,964 (50 percent) to Browning’s 15,765 (50 percent), meaning a recount is possible.

In the Republican primary in the 131st legislative district–which includes part of Lower Saucon Township–incumbent State Rep. Justin Simmons appeared to have defeated GOP challenger Bev Plosa-Bowser, according to unofficial election results, which–with nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting totals–showed Simmons garnering more than 70 percent of the vote.

Saucon Valley restaurateur Andy Lee ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 131st District, which also includes Coopersburg borough, Emmaus borough, Lower Milford Township, Upper Saucon Township, Upper Milford Township and part of Salisbury Township in Lehigh County; and East Greenville borough, Pennsburg borough, Red Hill borough and Upper Hanover Township in Montgomery County.

According to Northampton County unofficial election results Simmons received 350 votes (66.41 percent) to Plosa-Bowser’s 176 votes (33.4 percent) among Lower Saucon Township’s five precincts.

Lee received 571 votes among the township’s five precincts, according to the unofficial results.

State Rep. Robert “Bob” Freeman–who represents Hellertown borough and part of Lower Saucon Township as representative for the 136th legislative district in Northampton County–ran unopposed in his primary and does not have a Republican challenger.

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