Wheeler running again?

Benjamin Brown

Former Lafayette Public Safety officer and current Easton Constable is “pondering” a write-in ballot campaign for the District Judge election this November.

“I am just waiting to regroup and get my team back together, and we’ll go from there,” Wheeler said of the prospect. “In early September we’ll start getting together and we’ll have a meeting.”

Easton attorney Antonia Grifo won the primary election on May 21, sweeping the Democratic and Republican ballots.

“It was a good race; I gained a lot from this race,” Wheeler said shortly after the May election. “I am still not satisfied.” Wheeler campaigned heavily among Lafayette students, suggesting that he would bring repeat alcohol offenders to his office on Friday nights to serve community service. The election took place after many Lafayette students concluded spring exams.

“Unfortunately, the kids didn’t vote for me; they didn’t get to vote because they were away from school,” Wheeler said. Grifo won by just 102 votes in seven wards. Wheeler said that just 63 people turned out to vote in the College Hill ward of Easton. With registered student voters back on campus, attendance at the polls could change.

Matt Koos ‘13, who volunteered for Wheeler during the primary campaign, offered his perspective on Wheeler’s prospects.

“Lance Wheeler has to consider a couple of things: does he want a future in Easton politics? And if he does, then I would not run against a candidate that the Democratic Party is backing,” Koos said.
“It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could win this,” Koos continued, “but the fact that Grifo has a lot of well-known support and she is on both lines would certainly make it a challenge.”

Student Government Representative Ed O’Brien ’16 said of the prospect of Wheeler running, “We should be treating district registrate like the president. It’s very difficult to get people to do a write-in candidate for everything, whether it be a president or dog catcher.” O’Brien did some “side-consulting” for Wheeler in the spring, but has had no contact with the Wheeler camp since.

“[Wheeler] performed very well. He exceeded expectations. He finished second among a hotly contested race. That’s nothing to be upset or regretful about. He should be proud.”

Though the race could be an uphill battle for Wheeler, according to O’Brien, it may not be completely unwinnable.

“There might be a niche or non-Grifo voters he could tap into. If that’s the case, then go after it.”

Wheeler has not made any formal decisions yet. The municipal election takes place November 5.