Tropiak wins Throop’s may­oral race

Write-ins push him to 27-vote vic­tory over in­cum­bent mayor.

The Times-Tribune - - Briefly - BY DAVID SIN­GLE­TON

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: ds­in­gle­ton@timessham­; 570-348-9132.


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