Voting ends in tie for 1 Lock Haven council seat

LOCK HAVEN — It’s a tie.

Stephen L. Stevenson, who is Lock Haven City Council’s vice president, and contender William H. Mincer each received a total of 576 votes at the polls Tuesday across the city’s five wards. Both are Democrats.

Absentee ballots, even write-ins, could change the numbers. The recount won’t begin until 9 a.m. Monday.

If the tie vote does hold, a “casting of lots” will be conducted at the courthouse at noon the third Friday after the election, which this year is Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving. This will determine the winner of the third council seat. The loser will not hold office.

Three council seats with four-year terms were up for election this year, and four candidates were listed on the ballot yesterday.

Incumbent Richard L. Conklin, a Republican, received 645 votes, but it was Democrat Joel Long, a former council member and former county commissioner, who was the top vote-getter, earning 740 votes.

Voting was pretty steady across all five wards, with Long almost always in the lead, Conklin making a good showing behind him, and Mincer and Stevenson trading back and forth for the third and fourth positions — until the election results from Fifth Ward were released and a tie was apparent.

Long called being the top vote-getter in the city “a tremendous honor.”

He said, “I’m excited that the citizens of Lock Haven believe in me enough to give me that support, and I can’t wait to get back to work making the city the best place it can be.”

Long has been attending city council meetings regularly, and said he will now start meeting with city staff members to get up to speed.

“It’s been 10 years since I served on council,” he said. “I want to get a sense of what they are already working on and start to work on what direction we can go in.”

As to the apparent tie between Mincer and Stevenson, he said, “They bring different skill sets. I think whoever ends up winning, the city is in good hands.”

Conklin was the only council candidate to wait for the results at the courthouse last night.