The unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election are in, with a number of races apparently having been won or lost by relatively small numbers of votes, in part due to low voter participation.
Among several closely-watched races were those for Hellertown Borough Council (Democratic primary), Lower Saucon Township Council (Republican primary) and Saucon Valley School Board.
The Republican and Democratic winners in those races will advance to the general election in November, which is an open election in which all registered voters may participate.
Note: The names of the winners appear in bold below. Incumbents are denoted with an asterisk (*). All results are unofficial until certified by Northampton County.
Hellertown Borough Council
Four candidates were vying for three seats on the Democratic primary ballot. According to unofficial county results, the top three finishers in the race were:
Liz Thompson* – 423 votes
Lynley Solt – 288 votes
Michael T. McKenna* – 287 votes
The fourth place finisher on the Democratic ballot was Larry Sutton, with 279 votes, according to the unofficial results. Republican councilman Andrew Hughes* seat ran unopposed on his party’s ballot to advance to the November general election, in which he’ll be competing against Thompson, Solt and McKenna.
Lower Saucon Township Council
The focus in the Lower Saucon Township Council primary election was mainly on the Republican side of the ballot, where four candidates were competing for three seats. According to the county’s unofficial results, the top three finishers in that race were:
Sandra Yerger* – 657 votes
Mark Inglis* – 647 votes
Susan Blair – 635 votes
Republican challenger Kathy Pichel-McGovern finished in fourth place with 574 votes, according to the county’s unofficial results. Yerger, Inglis and Blair ran in the primary as part of a slate.
Democratic running mates Priscilla deLeon* (1,046 votes), Victoria Opthof-Cordaro (967 votes) and Laura Ray (955 votes) will all advance to the fall race, according to unofficial results.
The results of the Lower Saucon Township Council primaries mean three Democrats and three Republicans will compete for three council seats in the fall, in what is likely to be another high-stakes township election. Issues such as support for library services, a proposal to expand the Bethlehem Landfill and relations with Hellertown borough are expected to figure prominently in it.
Saucon Valley School Board
All but one of the 10 candidates running for five at-large seats on the Saucon Valley School Board cross-filed and appeared on both the Democratic and Republican ballots in Tuesday’s primary. The candidate who did not cross-file, Republican Barrett Geyer, finished in sixth place on the Republican ballot and will not advance to the general election if Tuesday’s election results are certified without any changes. All of the other candidates achieved a top-five finish on at least one ballot, which means nine candidates will likely be competing for five school board seats in the fall.
The top 5 Democratic finishers were four challengers running together on a slate and incumbent Laurel Erickson-Parsons:
Vivian A. Demko – 1,355 votes
Jay Santos – 1,093 votes
Bill Broun – 972 votes
Donald L. Carpenter III – 953 votes
Laurel Erickson-Parsons* – 761 votes
The top 5 Republican finishers were the five incumbents seeking re-election to the board:
Susan Baxter* – 825 votes
Bryan Eichfeld* – 752 votes
Michael Karabin* – 730 votes
Shawn Welch* – 703 votes
Laurel Erickson-Parsons* – 667 votes
Another closely-watched primary race with county-wide implications was the race for Northampton County District Attorney. In Tuesday’s Democratic primary, former county judge Stephen G. Baratta defeated incumbent DA Terry Houck* with 12,943 votes to Houck’s 10,799 votes, according to unofficial results. In the lead-up to Tuesday’s election, Houck encouraged Republicans to secure him a place on the November ballot by writing in his name, as there was no Republican candidate in the county DA race. The total number of write-in votes cast for Houck has yet to be announced, however a total of 2,118 Republicans cast write-in votes in the primary and Houck only needs to have received a fraction of them to appear as a Republican on the ballot in the fall.
Editor’s Note: The results reported above are unofficial until certified by Northampton County voter registration officials. The certification process typically takes approximately two weeks. To view county-wide primary election results from Tuesday, click here.