Primary election begins Feb. 19

WELLSBORO – Some new names will greet Tioga County voters on this year’s municipal primary election ballot May 21.

According to a preliminary list provided by the Voter Registration Office there could be races at the county level, including the treasurer’s position, along with races on the local level for borough, township and school director seats open for competition should challengers surface to run against incumbents.

County voters will choose their political party’s candidate for a sheriff, magisterial district judge, Prothonotary, Treasurer and a number of school directors in all three school districts: Northern Tioga, Southern Tioga and Wellsboro, as well as school director seats in Bradford County’s Canton and Potter County’s Galeton school districts.

County Treasurer Frank Higgins Jr. has announced he is retiring after more than a decade of service, so his seat will be open, and at least one candidate – current school board president Craig West – has announced his intention to run for the treasurer’s job.

Another race that may be hot will be for a seat representing Region 3 in the Southern Tioga School District.

Board member Bob McConnell resigned in December and his seat, set to expire this year, was filled by John Martin.

Martin’s appointment, however, became controversial due to questions about his eligibility because of business fines paid to the state Liquor Control Board by his business, Blossburg Beverage.

Sean Bartlett, of Richmond Township, has said he will seek the seat in November by earning a spot on the ballot during this year’s May primary.

Blossburg, Elkland, Knoxville, Lawrenceville, Liberty, Mansfield, Roseville, Tioga, Wellsboro and Westfield boroughs will have mayor and council positions up for grabs.

And a judge of elections and inspector of elections also will be chosen for each of the county’s 43 districts.

According to state law, the first day for prospective candidates to circulate and file nominating petitions is Feb. 19, and the last day March 12.

Nomination papers can be filed up to the close of business on March 13, and the last day for withdrawal by candidates is by the end of regular business on March 27.

The last day voters can register before the primary is April 22, and residents may apply for civilian absentee ballots until May 17.