Challenges to the results must be filed by 4 p.m. Monday.
By VIRGINIA ROSS
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Barring a late challenge, the preliminary nominees for three top county posts likely will be certified next week as winners of the Lawrence County May primary election.
On Tuesday, the county's return board signed its first certification of primary results. Some of the final vote tabulations changed, but the successful candidates did not.
Tuesday's numbers included write-in and provisional ballots votes.
Challenges for a recount must be presented within five days to the prothonotary's office. Because the fifth day falls on Sunday, challenges may be presented until 4 p.m. Monday. If there are no challenges, the results presented Tuesday will be certified as official.
Marlene Gabriel, county elections director, said one challenge could hold up certification for all of the races.
If results of any of the races are challenged, the elections board would need an order from a common pleas court judge to certify the results of the remaining, unchallenged races, she said. The state has notified her the county must certify the results of the common pleas judge's race by June 24, Gabriel said.
According to results released Tuesday, the winning candidates for the judge's race are John Hodge, who won the Republican nomination with 5,092 votes, and Matthew Mangino, who gained the Democratic nod with 6,245 votes. Judge candidates cross-filed; Hodge, a Republican, ended up with 4,972 Democratic votes, and Mangino, a Democrat, claimed 2,418 Republican votes. Preliminary results gave Hodge 5,082 Republican and 4,964 Democratic votes, and Mangino 2,415 Republican and 6,240 Democratic votes.
Preliminary results for the third candidate for the judge's post gave Democrat Joseph Kearney 1,679 Democratic and 825 Republican votes. He ended with 1,679 Democratic and 829 Republican votes. The Democratic candidate for district attorney, John Bongivengo, had 4,397 preliminary votes. Results released Tuesday netted him 4,398 votes. He is to face Republican nominee George Freed, who claimed 5,790 votes in May but finished with 5,802 votes.
Preliminary results for unsuccessful Democratic district attorney candidates James Papa and Angelo Papa, who are cousins, were 3,815 and 4,060, respectively, while ending results were 3,824 and 4,063 for each man, respectively.
The county sheriff's race proved to be one of the closest, with just six votes separating Democratic candidates Perry Quahliero and Charles H. Adamo. Quahliero finished ahead with 3,536 votes in May, but results released Tuesday gave him 3,538 votes. Adamo claimed 3,530 votes in May, but finished with 3,532, according to results released Tuesday.
Quahliero will face Republican candidate Thomas Wharry in November. Wharry claimed 2,682 preliminary votes and ended with 2,684 votes. Republican candidates for sheriff Jack Mahaven and Ronald Richman claimed 2,452 and 1,741 preliminary votes, and ended with 2,458 and 1,748 votes, respectively.
Meanwhile, Democratic sheriff's candidates Richard Russo and Pat Shea claimed 2,129 and 2,748 preliminary votes, and ended with 2,131 and 2,754 votes, respectively.