Lewis L. Clark II cruised to the Republican nomination for Paint Township supervisor Tuesday night while Frank Tallyen will be the Democratic candidate in the November general election.
Clark won the nomination with 169 votes, 56.15 percent, over former supervisor Richard Seese, with 95 votes, 31.56 percent, and political newcomer Bret Shaffer, who won 35 votes, for 11.63 percent.
For the Democratic nomination, Tallyen won it with 102 votes, or 44.93 percent, over David A. Zeglin's 61 votes, for 26.87 percent.
"I really appreciate the people who supported me," Clark said. "Not just with signs in their yards, but at the polls as well. I had the support of a lot of good people. The people deserve a change."
Tallyen, 58, recently retired from running his own business, and said the township had to be run in the same manner. And he's predicting a tight race with Clark in the fall.
"It feels great," Tallyen said and laughed late Tuesday. "I can't wait to rally all of the Democrats to beat the Republicans in November."
Financial woes resulting in more than $400,000 in loans and a 75 percent tax hike in Paint Township had five people vying for one open seat on the board of supervisors. Incumbent Supervisor Andy Tvardzik, who most often came under fire from residents, didn't seek re-election.
The township had to borrow $425,000 through two loans this year to stay afloat and is the focus of an ongoing state Ethics Commission investigation.
Despite the mess they would inherit, three Republicans and two Democrats went after the one open seat on the three-person board.
Clark, a 72-year-old retiree from First Energy and a fixture at township supervisors' meetings, campaigned saying he would bring his business experience to the board. The fact that his own property taxes jumped $733 this year helped prompt the political newcomer to run.
The state Department of Community and Economic Development is working on a study to determine whether a regional police department would better serve those municipalities. A regional force would be overseen by representatives from each of the municipalities served.
Seese is looking to return to the board of supervisors, where he'd served from 1994-1999.
"The six-mill increase, I thought, was unnecessary," said Seese, a Republican. "The taxpayers should not have gotten a six-mill increase. Right now, taxpayers are paying more taxes for Paint Township than they are county taxes."
Shaffer, a 53-year-old Republican candidate, is running for elected office for the first time. But he said his experience working in roadway construction and paving could pay off for the township.
Also seeking the Democratic nomination was Zeglin, a former Scalp Level Borough councilman who now resides in Paint Township.