NEW CASTLE SCHOOL BOARD Voters nominate 3 incumbents, 3 newcomers
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Voters in the New Castle Area School District couldn't decide whether they wanted a change.
So they nominated three incumbents and three newcomers for the November general election in the New Castle Area School Board race.
Incumbent Larry Nord was the top vote-getter among both Republicans and Democrats, getting 14 percent and 9.71 percent of the votes cast, respectively.
Andrea Przybylski, who has never held political office, also won nominations from both Republicans and Democrats, getting 12 percent and 9.48 percent of the votes cast, respectively.
Incumbents Allan Joseph and Peter Yerage were given Democratic nominations, with Joseph getting 9.69 percent of the vote and Yerage 8.22 percent.
High school issue: Both said they believe the voters were confirming their decision to build a new high school.
"Even though the turnout was low, the majority of people are in favor of a new school because all of the incumbents [were renominated]," Yerage said.
The school district wants to raze the current school and several nearby homes to make way for a campus-style school. The plan has met opposition from people who want to save the 90-year-old school and homes, some of which date to the 1800s and are part of a historical district.
Opposition: Przybylski was part of a group of four candidates who opposed the construction of a new school.
Two others on that slate also received Republican nominations, William Morgan with 11 percent of the vote, and Barbara McNeal with 11.5 percent. The fourth person in their group, Matthew Catanzaro, finished fourth in the Republican race with 8.62 percent of the vote.
Catanzaro said he wasn't surprised by the results because Nord was a strong candidate.
"I really did expect that one of us wouldn't make it and I thought it might be me," he said. Catanzaro explained he was listed last on fliers his group gave voters. He suspects voters first looked for Nord, a very popular candidate, and then went down the list and voted for his running mates.
Catanzaro said he is optimistic there will be changes on the board if his three running mates are elected in November.
His running mate William Morgan said the three remaining members of the group will likely redo their strategies for the fall race.
"We are not sure what we will do. We are a little disappointed in the citizens for not voting for a change, even though they said they wanted a change. Voter turnout was horrible," he said.
Only 39.9 percent of Lawrence County's registered voters participated in this election.
Joseph saw the race differently.
"I think [voters] sent a very clear message. Three incumbents were elected and I think that speaks loudly that they want the new school," he said.
Questions relevancy: But Morgan and Catanzaro say they didn't see the new school as an election issue because the project will be well under way before a new board takes office.
"We are looking forward to what is going to happen in the future and how to pay for the future and progress from there on," Morgan said.
Nord and Przybylski could not be reached to comment.