Byrnes, Reilly take GOP ballot for York County commissioner
Two incumbents and two challengers will appear on the general election ballot for York County commissioner.
Voters on Tuesday selected sitting Republican Chris Reilly, GOP challenger Susan Byrnes and Democrats Doug Hoke, an incumbent, and challenger Henry Nixon to advance to the November election.
"I'm just thrilled by the Republican support, and now I'm ready to go get the Democratic and Republican support in November," Byrnes said.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Reilly took 15,618 votes, or 40.4 percent, to Byrnes' 12,059 votes, or 31.1 percent in the GOP primary.
For the Democrats, Hoke took 8,328 votes, or 44.29 percent, while Nixon received 6,408 votes, or 34.08 percent.
Nixon and Hoke defeated 61-year-old Duane Hull, a former Dover Township supervisor, on the Democratic side, while Reilly and Byrnes beat 59-year-old Kelly Henshaw, a Red Lion councilman.
Henshaw said he'll now put his support behind the Republican ticket of Reilly and Byrnes. Henshaw and Reilly made an 11th-hour announcement that they were running mates, and Henshaw thanked Reilly for his support.
"Obviously I'm disappointed Kelly came up a little short," Reilly said. "I think he would have made a good commissioner."
The candidates: Reilly, 51, has served four terms as county commissioner while Hoke, 64, is in his second term. Hoke has been the only Democrat on the board in recent years.
Byrnes, 63, is a health activist and founder of the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center in York City. Nixon, 67, was a business owner and is currently a York City councilman, a position he'd have to give up if he won in November.
Nixon, who campaigned on bringing change to the county, said he's glad that resonated with voters.
"I'm just very thrilled that the people know it's time for a change," Nixon said.
During the campaign, Hoke said he's letting his record of being fiscally responsible and his work ethic speak for itself.
"I think that resonated with voters," he said. "I'm extremely happy."
Voters: Cathy Caldarone turned up at her polling place at St. Andrew's Church in Spring Garden Township with her trusted cheat sheet.
On it were the names of candidates in each race she voted for.
"I read everything I could," she said. "I spent a lot of time on the computer looking up everything."
The Democrat who did her homework cast her votes for Hoke and Nixon in the race for county commissioner because they were the most qualified, Caldarone said.
Craig Sheffer, a fellow Democrat, used his powers of deduction to cast his votes.
The West Manchester Township resident said he doesn't like how Nixon is running things in York City as a councilman, so Hoke and Hull received his votes.
"I don't even live in the city and I don't like how he's stirring things up there," Sheffer said.
Fifth candidate: For the first time in recent memory, a fifth candidate may also be on the general election ballot for county commissioner.
Incumbent President Commissioner Steve Chronister, 61, plans to run as an Independent after he withdrew from the Republican primary when his nomination petition was challenged.
In order to appear in the November election, he has to collect at least 919 signatures on nomination petitions and submit them to the county's Bureau of Elections and Voter Registration by Aug. 3.
The number of signatures needed is based on the total number of votes the highest vote-getter in a race for a county office received during the last election, which was in 2013.
The top three vote-getters in November will win seats on the board. Commissioners serve four-year terms.
In 2016, when those elected commissioner take office, the president commissioner will make $89,730 annually, and the other two commissioners will be paid $86,525 each.
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
— Reach Greg Gross at email@example.com.