Light voter turnout decides city primaries
|Florence Sealey signs a judging form as she turns in primary election ballots cast by voters at the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center polling site to county clerk Robert Pero, deputy county clerk Alexis Horsley and Price city recorder Joanne Lessar on Tuesday evening. The number of registered voters casting ballots in the Oct. 4 city primaries was light in the Price precincts, but the turnout picked up at polls in Helper and East Carbon.|
As the first precinct reported in to the Carbon County Courthouse on Oct. 4, most candidates, officials and spectators appeared surprised by the light turnout of city voters posted on the big screen in the commission chambers.
Coming from the ballot boxes located at the courthouse, the first numbers showed only 128 people out of a district of more than 900 registered voters had cast ballots, a percentage of only about 12 percent.
But as primary election night wore on, the percentages across the county improved and, in the end, some of the candidates survived the vote to fight another day.
In contention were slots for mayoral positions and council seats in three cities in Carbon County; Price, Helper and East Carbon.
Two towns in the county, Wellington and Sunnyside, did not have enough candidates running to be included on the primary ballots.
But the city races in Wellington and Sunnyside will be included on the ballot at the general election on Nov. 8.
In Price, the two candidates for mayor who will face each other in next months contest are incumbent mayor Joe Piccolo and Betty Wheeler, who is presently a city councilmember.
Piccolo received the most votes with 561 ballots, while Wheeler garnered 341.
The third candidate, who was eliminated from the 2005 election process, Patricia Colosimo, took in 287 votes.
For the four-year term council seat in Price, Kathy Hanna Smith and incumbent Jeanne McEvoy had the most votes with 722 and 506 ballots respectively.
John Kit Pappas with 374 and Rick Davis with 267 will also be on the ballot in November.
Jay Marshall, who received 236, was eliminated .
For the two year council seat in Price, Jeff Nielson and Edwin Shook won the day with 469 and 367 votes respectively. Former council member Don Reaveley was eliminated from the November vote with 292 votes.
In the Helper, the council seat contest was filled with contenders for the two four year seats available. The top vote getter was Dean Armstrong with 230 votes, while John Jones came in second with 198. Others who will be on the ballot in November are Jeremy Lamph who received 92 votes and Gene Carlson who garnered 87. Eliminated from the November election was David Dornan who came in with 82 and Jason Llewelyn who got 72 votes.
The Helper mayoral contest was not included in the primary because there are only two candidates running for that office.
In the East Carbon mayoral race, incumbent Dale Andrews lost by one vote in the primary to Orlando LaFontaine, 125-126, respectively, and they will face each other in the election next month for the job. Eliminated from contention were Michael Royall with 61 votes and David Fryer with 13.
Overall, in Price, which has 6,203 registered voters, only 1207 voted in the election for a percentage of a little over 19 percent. In Helper over 24 percent (403) of the 1651 registered voters came to the polls. And in East Carbon out of 971 registered voters, 335 cast their ballots.
That town came out with the highest percentage for the night with 34.5 percent of the voters going to the polls.