Tropiak wins Throop’s mayoral race
Write-ins push him to 27-vote victory over incumbent mayor.
Throop’s new interim mayor can soon scratch the qualifier from his title.
Write-in votes propelled Joe Tropiak to a 27-vote victory over incumbent Democratic Mayor Frank Shimkus in the Nov. 7 general election, the Lackawanna County Department of Elections announced Tuesday.
Tropiak defeated Shimkus by a final tally of 390 votes to 363, according to totals from the official canvass released by elections director Marion Medalis.
Tropiak, 80, got the news just hours after he was sworn in Tuesday afternoon to fill out the remainder of Shimkus’ term through the end of 2016.
Shimkus announced last month he planned to resign as mayor to resume his career in broadcasting by hosting an afternoon talk show on radio station WILK, but his name remained on the ballot.
The outcome was a reversal of fortunes for Tropiak, who lost the Democratic nomination to Shimkus by 93 votes in the May primary election. There was no Republican candidate on the ballot.
“I’m really, really happy,” said Tropiak, who pointed out he had only about two weeks to pull together his write-in campaign. “I had good support.”
Throop borough council voted unanimously Monday night to appoint Tropiak to replace Shimkus for the final six weeks of his terms.
In anticipation that writeins would show Tropiak to be the winner of a full four-year term, the appointment just made sense, council President Richard Kucharski said.
In another Midvalley race decided by write-ins, Joanne Pesota emerged as the top vote-getter in Mid Valley School District Region 1.
Pesota received 681 writein votes, outdistancing the two candidates whose names appeared on the ballot, to take one of the two school board seats up for grabs, according to the election office. The second seat will go to Steven Vituszynski, who had 607 votes. James Devoe finished third with 543 votes.
In the Scranton mayoral race, where incumbent Democrat Bill Courtright defeated Republican Jim Mulligan by 515 votes, Libertarian candidate Gary St. Fleur received 350 write-in votes. No other candidate polled a significant number of writeins in the race, Medalis said.
The full list of write-in winners will be released later.
The county Board of Elections must still conduct hearings on 25 absentee ballots from Scranton that were challenged on election night, Medalis said. The hearings are expected to be scheduled next week. Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9132.