Your guide to the Northampton County ballot

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A number of local races– including for the school board and county council, along with some statewide races will be decided when voters go to the polls on Nov. 2. (Photo by Pierson White ’24)

Trebor Maitin, Staff Writer

Yes, there is an election next Tuesday, Nov. 2, and despite the lack of buzz compared to last year, it is important.

This guide will take look at what is on the ballot of someone whose voter registration is tied to their mailing address here at Lafayette. There are a few statewide races in contention on Nov. 2, but local races such as county council, school board and others are detailed below. Even if you are registered to vote elsewhere in Pennsylvania or out of state, vote411.org, vote.org, or your local county elections office should have all the necessary information on who is running and where or how you can vote.

 

Getting to the polls

Deadlines for voter registration and mail-in ballot applications have passed for this election. If you are unsure of your voter registration status, it can be found at ​​vote.pa.gov. Polling locations can also be found on that website.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, Lafayette students who wish to vote in person can do so at Kirby Sports Center. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Those who are in line to vote by 8 p.m. cannot be turned away. Additionally, for those who elected to vote by mail, ballots must be received by the Northampton County Office of Elections and Voter Registration, located at 669 Washington Street, by 8 p.m on Nov. 2. mail-in ballots postmarked by that time and not received will be discarded.

 

Who is on the ballot, and what is at stake?

Judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Term: 10 years

Office description: Judges in Pennsylvania, unlike at the federal level and in many states, must run for office in partisan elections. On the Supreme Court, there are seven justices, and Democrats currently hold a 5-2 majority; this election is for a seat currently held by a Republican. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the Commonwealth’s highest court, hearing cases appealed to it from our two lower statewide courts.

Pertinent issues: Death penalty appeals, gerrymandering, gubernatorial powers, election security, and all issues pertaining to the Superior Court and the Commonwealth Court (read below).

Candidates:

Judge Maria McLaughlin (D) started her career as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, going on to lead the Child Support Enforcement Unit. She has been serving on the Superior Court since 2018.

Judge Kevin Brobson (R) started his legal career at a private Harrisburg firm. He has been serving on the Commonwealth Court since 2010 and, since 2021, as the President Judge of the Court.

 

Judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania

Term: 10 years

Office description: The Superior Court is, in most cases, the highest court that civil and criminal cases will reach in Pennsylvania. It also hears appeals on matters involving children and families. Democrats currently hold a seven to six majority on the 15 member Court (there are two vacancies; this race is to fill a vacancy).

Pertinent issues: The Superior Court does not have the power to decide the cases it hears. This office is generally less political than some others on this list.

Candidates:

Judge Timika Lane (D) began her career teaching, later going into family law in Philadelphia. Lane then litigated for a pro bono defense firm before being elected to the Court of Common Pleas in 2013, where she serves currently.

Megan Sullivan (R) has been both a criminal and civil litigator, serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Chester County. Sullivan has been serving as a Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania since 2017, specializing in insurance fraud.

Judge John T. Bender (R) Judge Mary Jane Bowes (R), both already seated on the Court, are running in retention elections, for they have served ten years on the Court.

 

Judge of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

Term: 10 years

Office description: This nine-member court hears civil cases brought against the state and its various agencies, as well as appeals by said agencies. The Court currently has a seven to two Republican majority, and the top two vote getters will fill seats currently held by Republicans.

Pertinent issues: Voting laws, election audits, challenges to the state government.

Candidates (Select up to TWO):

Judge Lori Dumas (D) has served on the Philadelphia Family Court–a branch of the Court of Common Pleas–since 2002. During her tenure, she helped establish her district’s Juvenile Human Trafficking Court.

Judge David Lee Spurgeon (D) started his legal career in private practice, later moving onto Allegheny County’s prosecutor’s office. He has served on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas since 2016 as a part of the Family Division.

Stacy Marie Wallace (R) has spent her career in private practice, operating her own firm since 2012. She is currently president of the McKean County Bar Association.

Judge Drew Crompton (R) (Incumbent) was appointed to the Court by Governor Tom Wolf (D) in 2019 after a vacancy arose and is running for a full term. Judge Crompton previously served as chief of staff and counselor to various Pennsylvania politicians.

Anne Covey (R) Renée Cohn Jubelirer (R), both already seated on the Court, are running in retention elections, for they have served ten years on the Court.

Northampton County Executive

Term: Four years

Office description: The County Executive is, according to Northampton County’s website, “responsible for overseeing county operations that serve the municipalities of Northampton County.”

Pertinent issues: Many, including the courts, economic development, prisons, and public works.

Candidates:

Lamont G. McClure (D) (Incumbent) is an attorney who served on the Northampton Council from 2006 to 2015. McClure has served as the County Executive since 2018.

Steve Lynch (R) is currently the president of Creation Fitness Inc., a personal training company. He is formerly a fitness and nutrition contributor to Channel 69 News (WFMZ).

 

Northampton County Council

Term: Four years

Office description: The Council’s primary objectives are creating county budgets, setting real estate tax rates, and implementing a wide array of policy. Democrats currently hold a 6-3 majority; only one seat being contested is held by a Republican, and she is retiring.

Pertinent issues: Taxes, environment, development projects, elections, social programs.

Candidates (Select up to FIVE):

Tara Zrinski (D) (Incumbent) has served on the Council since 2018. She also works for SunPulse Solar and teaches philosophy classes at Northampton Community College.

Lori Vargo Heffner (D) (Incumbent) is currently the president of the County Council and has served on it since 2018. Heffner has been a mental health counselor for 35 years.

Patti Bruno (D) is a public relations consultant and campaign strategist.

Ronald R. Heckman (D) (Incumbent) has served as a councilman since 2010 and serves on the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority and Lehigh Valley Airport Authority.

William McGee (D) (Incumbent) is currently the vice president of the County Council. He is a Navy veteran and has worked for the Heat and Frost Insulators union for 29 years.

John Brown (R) is a former Northampton County Executive, losing to McClure in 2017. He was the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania Auditor General in 2016 and served as the mayor of Bangor from 2010 to 2013.

John P. Goffredo (R) is a project manager at Nu Cor Management, a construction consulting firm.

Kristin Lorah Soldridge (R) works at a local insurance company and is a first-time candidate.

Nicole Romanishan (R) has experience as a banker and tax collector. She is currently the treasurer of the Point Phillips Rod and Gun Club.

Annamarie R. Robertone (R) is a former pharmaceutical sales representative. She is now retired.

 

Uncontested races

The candidates for the Easton Area school board, City Council, and Constable are all running unopposed. There are no candidates for Judge of Elections or Inspector of Elections.