Forever Lebanon Valley

Write-In Candidate Wins a Seat on Elco School Board

Lebanon County’s Board of Elections wrapped up the work of counting any ballots that had only partial votes to record and tallied up the write-in ballots from two school board races yesterday. Both the Northern Lebanon and Elco elections had thousands of write-in votes cast.

In the Northern Lebanon School Board race, where 2,076 write-in votes were cast, neither Kimberly Boltz or Dan Gatto had enough votes to change the final standings in the race from last Tuesday night.

But in the Elco School Board race, where 1,991 write-in votes were cast, Republican David E. Ziegler unseated ballot candidate Denise K. Thomas by 526 votes, so he will take the 4th open seat on the school board in the new year.

The Lebanon Valley Daily News spoke with Ziegler following yesterday’s elections board meeting. He says he only made the firm commitment to undertake a write-in campaign about two weeks before election day.

To get his message out, the dairy farmer took a page from another homegrown Lebanon County public awareness campaign:

He also said his family, fellow farmers and the Lebanon County G-O-P spread his message throughout the district and helped man every polling place in Elco on election day, handing out cards with his name printed on them so voters knew exactly how to write-in and properly spell his name.

While Ziegler feels his victory is historic, it doesn’t come as a complete surprise:

The Elco School Board will swear in new members on December 1st during their reorganization meeting.

In the highly contested race for the open Magisterial District Judge seat for the city of Lebanon pitting Democrat Aurelis Figueroa against Republican James Capello, Figueroa increased her margin of victory from the 17 vote advantage she had last Tuesday night. She defeated Capello by 31 votes, 680 to 649.