Although the official election results aren't quite done yet, it appears Jaime Kinder will be Meadville's new mayor. Although there are some provisional and other special ballots to be counted, it doesn't appear that there are enough to change the unofficial vote count.

Kinder will be the city's first female mayor.

One race still not clear is for one of the two council seats. Democrat Gretchen Myers had a 12-vote lead over Republican Nancy Mangilo Bittner as of Thursday.

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Two things were clear to me in this year's election.

County-wide, people were voting for a specific candidate — not just following party lines. Of course, one could no longer just vote straight party, so that may have made a difference.

The other thing is that many people aren't real proficient at typing — as the write-in names were often spelled wrong (such as the letter M typed twice in a row). In addition, people often had the wrong names. One person in the race for city mayor had Marcy Kinder, using the first name of one candidate and the last of the other.

Courts have ruled that even if the name is misspelled, if the intent of the voter was clear, it could be counted.

Of course, in the above case, the intent wasn't clear.

The ruling said that if a candidate had a viable write-in campaign going, the intent was clear — unless there was somebody with a similar name in the district.

Those court rulings are interesting and the write-ins certainly can make a difference — as can the mail-in ballots.

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Now that the 2021 election is over, many people are already campaigning for the 2022 election, which includes governor and lieutenant governor, as well as Congress and state legislators.

Redistricting will mean the state will lose one Congressional seat. The question now is will it be the one that is now held by Mike Kelly?

The same is true of the state House seats.

Zack Norwood is challenging Brad Roae for the GOP nomination. Roae is the incumbent.

One Facebook suggestion was for Democrats who oppose Roae to switch party registration for the spring primary so they could vote for Norwood and Roae would lose the nomination.

In the past several elections for that seat, the incumbent lost in the primary to a person of their own party.

For example, Jay Haskell lost to Tom Swift. Swift later lost to Teresa Brown (now Forcier), who then lost to Roae.

Interesting political moves to those following political history.

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Although many people have been talking about the gubernatorial race, talk now is starting on who will run for lieutenant governor. At one point, there was a question to be on the ballot allowing the governor and lieutenant governor to run as a team. I'm not sure the status of that question.

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And, while some are looking at 2022, others are already looking to 2023.

The worst kept secret in the political world (at least in Crawford County) is that county auditor Chris Seeley plans to seek the Democratic nomination for county commissioner. Incumbent Democrat Chris Soff and Republican Francis Weiderspahn Jr. have both said they will not seek another term.

If they don't change their minds, it means the county will have at least two new commissioners come 2024.

In addition, others are looking at Meadville City Council when incumbents Autumn Vogel and Larry McKnight will be up for re-election. The question is will those who got involved in this year's election continue to stay involved.

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Linesville Council usually has some light-hearted moments at its meeting. During the recent meeting, the telephone rang. Without missing a beat, the comment was made, "your car warranty has expired" and the meeting continued.

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Linesville Councilwoman Katie Wickert will be honored at an upcoming meeting of the borough's association.

She will receive a "Designation of Certified Borough Official" from the state boroughs association.

Jokingly, councilman Michael Chance said, "Basically that means she's a know-it-all."

Wicker, since assuming her seat on council, has attended numerous seminars and conferences related to borough business.

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Condolences go to Crawford County Auditor Diana Perry, whose husband, Dan, recently died, a victim of COVID-19. Although not a big political person, Dan was a great supporter of his wife and will be deeply missed.

Jane Smith is a retired Meadville Tribune reporter who specialized in covering government and politics.

 

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