WISSAHICKON VALLEY >> When voters step into the voting booth for the primary, they will see a large selection of candidates in school board races but find fewer options in municipal contests.
With a total of 34 spots on local school and municipal boards across the Wissahickon Valley up for grabs this election cycle, the May 21 primary is set to narrow the field for the November General Election.
While the local school board races are likely to see candidates knocked out of contention after the primary results come in, a majority of the local municipal board contests are uncontested, with all candidates seemingly assured to advance to November.
Below is a look at who is running for which positions, based on Montgomery County’s 2019 Primary Election official candidate list.
Springfield Township School Board
This year’s election will see five four-year seats and a single two-year seat on the Springfield Township School Board on the ballot.
In the competition for the four-year seats, a total of six candidates have thrown their hats into the race.
Five candidates are cross-listed, meaning they will appear on both the Democratic and Republican tickets: incumbents Jeff Bedard, Jeannine DePaul-Nelson and Gretchen Slapinsky and newcomers Neil DiFranco and Carol Etlen. Michael Needleman will appear just on the Democratic ballot.
With five candidates advancing to November from both tickets, the five cross-listed candidates are guaranteed to appear on the November ballot, while Needleman will need to be among the top five vote-getters among Democratic primary voters to advance.
Current board members John Chapman and Ben Rayer not seeing re-election.
Upper Dublin School Board
With five four-year seats up for grabs, 10 candidates are seeking spots on the Upper Dublin School Board.
The election result is assured to bring several new faces to the board, as only two incumbents are on the ballot.
Incumbents Art Levinowitz and Robert Kim are joined in the race by newcomers Ginny Cairo-Vitella, Darlene Davis, Steve D’Angelo, Michael A. Henderson, Joseph M. Holmes, Jennifer Kuznits, Pamela Olshefski and Jeffrey Wallack.
All 10 candidates are cross-listed. Potentially, all 10 could advance to the General Election,; however, there is the possibility of some candidates being knocked out of contention in the primary if some candidates are among the top five vote-getting on both side of the ballot.
Current board members Vanessa Good, Joan Ryder Ludwig and Sara Johnson Rothman are not on the ballot for re-election.
Wissahickon School Board
One race that is sure to see candidates eliminated at the primary stage is the one for Wissahickon School Board.
The board sees five four-year posts on the ballot, along with one two-year seat.
In the race for the four-year terms, a total of 11 candidates are on the ballot. A maximum of 10 names can appear on the fall ballot, meaning at least one will not advance to November.
Incumbents Joe Antonio, Paul Badger Jr., David Frank and Ronnie Hayman and newcomer Zeffy Karagiannakis are cross-listed. Meanwhile, former board members Charles McIntyre and Barbara Ullery and newcomers Donnie Bielak, Phyllis Fanizzi, Jay D. Gelman and Brian Patrick Miles will appear on just the Republican ticket.
Incumbent Carol Ann DiPietro and challenger Amy Ginsburg are both cross-listed in the race for the two-year seat.
Current board member Patricia M. David is not seeking re-election.
Ambler Borough Council
The races for Ambler Borough Council look to be uncontested at the primary level.
In Ward 1, one seat is up for grabs. Democrat Brooke Marshall is the only candidate to appear on the primary ballot, while sitting council member Fran Tomlinson is mounting her re-election bid as an independent, so her name will only appear on the General Election ballot.
A single Ward 2 seat is up for election, with Democrat Ryan Kennedy and Republican incumbent Claudio Zaccone setting up a November faceoff.
Ward 3 sees two available seats, with incumbent Frank DeRuosi and newcomer Haley Welch on the Democratic ticket, with the GOP fielding Colleen Johnson.
Ward 3 incumbent Sal Pasceri is not on the ballot for re-election.
Lower Gwynedd Board of Supervisors
Two six-year seats on the Lower Gwynedd Board of Supervisors are on the ballot this election cycle.
In the Republican primary, newcomers Craig Melograno and Chris P. Saullo and incumbent Stephen Paccione are on the ballot, with just two moving on to November.
For Democratic voters, Danielle A. Duckett and Tessie B. McNeely will appear on the ballot and will face off with the two GOP victors in the fall.
Current Supervisor Dr. J. Richard Booth is not seeking re-election.
Springfield Board of Commissioners
While four four-year seats on the Springfield Board of Commissioners will be on the ballot, none will see a contested primary race — and one looks to be uncontested in November, as well.
In Ward 1, Democratic incumbent Michael E. Maxwell will face Republican Tim Wicks in the fall.
Republican incumbent Glenn Schaum and Democratic challenger Jim Lee will advance to November in the Ward 3 race.
Democratic incumbent Baird M. Standish is the lone Ward 5 candidate.
In Ward 7, Democratic incumbent Eddie T. Graham will face a General Election challenge from Republican Steven Schagrin.
Upper Dublin Board of Commissioners
Neighboring Upper Dublin similarly will see no contested primary races.
Four four-year seats on the Upper Dublin Board of Commissioners are up for election, as well as one two-year seat.
In Ward 1, Republican Liz Ferry is unopposed in her re-election bid.
The contest for the two-year seat comes out of Ward 2, where Democratic incumbent Meredith Ferleger will face Republican Chris Duerr in November.
Sitting Democratic Commissioner Gary Scarpello is unopposed in Ward 3.
Democrat Cheryl Knight and Republican Bill Reid will both go for their first term on the board in Ward 5. Incumbent Rebecca Gushue is not seeking re-election.
Democratic incumbent Robert H. McGuckin is the lone Ward 7 candidate.
Whitpain Board of Supervisors
One of the few contested primary races will take place in Whitpain.
Voters will elect candidates to two six-year seats on the Whitpain Board of Supervisors this election cycle.
The Democratic race will be contested, with sitting Supervisor Ken Wollman facing a challenge from Kimberly Koch and Jeff Campolongo. The two who receive the most votes in the primary will earn a spot on the General Election ballot
Meanwhile, newcomer Harry Phifer and incumbent Adam D. Zucker are the Republican candidates.