The LuLac Edition #1598, May 15th, 2011
PHOTO INDEX: WALTER GRIFFITH, LUZERNE COUNTY CONTROLLER.
With the towering political figure of Lou Barletta populating Washington, D.C. the remnants of his administration are currently undergoing a transformation. That will be complete when Hazleton elects a new Mayor. The upcoming primary has 2 candidates from each party vying for the top nods.
Finances, crime and blight top the issues people care about in the Mountain City. of two Democrats and a like number of Republicans who are seeking party nominations for mayor of Hazleton in Tuesday's primary election.
Neighbors Joseph J. Corradini and Grace Cuozzo are seeking the Democratic nomination while incumbent Joseph Yannuzzi, who was appointed last December when Lou Barletta moved on to Congress, will face off against small business owner Jeff Cusat on the Republican side.
Yannuzzi and Cusat plan to run write-in campaigns on the Democratic ticket, as well.
Another candidate, John Medashefski, who is running as an independent, faces different filing deadlines and won't appear on the ballot until November.
In two debates aired on WYLN TV 35 both sets of candidates said that the city needed new revenue streams to deal with the increase in population the last few years. Tuesday night will give us a clearer picture of exactly what will happen to the Barletta legacy. Will there be a continuation or a drastic change on primary night? We shall see.
WALTER BACKING VITO
Luzerne County Controller Walter L. Griffith Jr. is supporting county Chief Solicitor Vito DeLuca as a candidate for county judge. He doesn’t call it an endorsement but rather a statement of facts.
The Times Leader reports that “in a letter endorsing DeLuca, Griffith said DeLuca "is precisely what Luzerne County needs in a judge." Griffith noted he has worked closely with DeLuca "to expose wrongdoing and improve the working of county government."
DeLuca is a Democrat and has cross-filed as a candidate for judge in both the Democratic and Republican primary elections on May 17.
Griffith, a Republican, said DeLuca "stands for what he believes is the right thing for the people of Luzerne County, based in the facts of the law." I e mail Walter and asked him if he was supporting any other GOP backed candidates. Griffith said he was backing Dick Hughes saying, I am also supporting Dick Hughes as well. I am not endorsing Vito because he is a democrat or republican, just simply stating that he has not avoided the issues of the Controllers Office when he was confronted with issues concerning the County Code. I support Vito in his ability to do what is ethically correct in interrupting the law. Griffith also said that was going to support GOP candidate Jim McMonagle.
WILKES BARRE COUNCIL
Unlike 2007 where 28 candidates vied for seats on the Wilkes Barre City Council, 2011 is a bit calmer. Certain incumbents have gone on to other offices. Kathy Kane from District C has decided to run for City Controller filling the seat of Bernie Mengrenhausen while Rick Cronaiurer tries to fill the shoes of Judge Bill Amesbury in the South Wilkes Barre district Justice Chair. Tony Thomas has foregone a run for Council in District B to help campaign for his brother Jeff who is making the run for that Magisterial seat.
Here’s a breakdown of the primary:
District A: Norm Davis, George Brown, Don Winder, are running as Democrats while Clare Koval Wert and Joe Bernardo are on the GOP slate. Winder is alspo running for the District Justice slate.
District B: Tony George former police Chief , Vaughn Moter and Darlene Duggins are running to replace Tony Thomas. On the GOP side Vince Guanari who really made an impact at our 2007 Council Forum is running against Scott Koppenhofer.
District C: This race is crowded with two political veterans trying to make comebacks. Cal Baggs is making a serious run as id former two term Councilman Eric Redick. Justin McCarthy who’s dad Jim McCarthy was a long time Council member is making a serious effort as is Shelby A. Sudnick. Steve Urban Junior is making a run on the GOP side.
District D; Incumbent Bill Barrett and Linda Urban are running unopposed and will face off in the general election.
District E: Incumbent Mike Merritt is getting opposition from newcomer Darren Synder. Both have been pretty much invisible in this race and whoever wins this election will have their hands full with neighborhood activist and GOP candidate Virgil Argenta who is running with opposition in the primary.