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Tyrone elects new mayor while incumbents do well in council race

Tyrone Borough voters elected a new mayor by casting more than 700 votes for Jim Kilmartin while at the same time returning three incumbents and an appointed member to Borough Council.
Kilmartin, the head of non-profit youth organization Joshua House, will take over in January for Mayor Patricia Stoner. She decided not to run after serving two terms as mayor.
Kilmartin won both the Republican and Democratic nominations earlier this year. He bested councilman Bill Fink by 100 votes on the Republican side and took a two to one margin in write-in votes on the Democratic side in the spring primary.
Fink waged a write-in campaign for mayor in yesterday’s election. Although vote totals are still unofficial, Fink fell short in his bid against Kilmartin. Based on vote totals obtained through the county and a sampling of precincts in Tyrone Borough, Kilmartin received 746 votes while write-in candidates for mayor received 425 votes. A sample of precincts showed Fink was receiving virtually all the write-in votes for mayor with only a smattering for other write-in candidates. Obviously, the write-in votes for mayor were more than 300 less than Kilmartin’s total thus leaving Fink well short in his bid.
Fink conceded he had lost in the write-in effort. In a brief phone interview with The Daily Herald this morning, he offered his thoughts to winner Kilmartin.
“I wish him the best,” said Fink. “I hope he has a very successful four years as mayor. My only hope is he’ll be running the show. I’ll support him as long as I feel he’s doing what’s best for the people and the community. I respect what he did at Joshua House and what he is doing.”
Mayor elect Kilmartin said, “I want to thank the community for voting for me and trusting in me. I look forward to serving Tyrone with all my heart.”
He said it was “an honor to be elected mayor.” Kilmartin added that he looked forward to working with council including those that won re-election and newly elected member Stephen H. Hanzir, Jr.
“It will be great to work with them and see what we can do,” said Kilmartin.
He said he would be “a resourceful mayor” and would “pull from the community.”
Kilmartin said he planned to work two or three days a week at the Mayor’s office if not more. Kilmartin runs a business in addition to his involvement with Joshua House. He said he did not see a conflict with his role there and serving as mayor.
For borough council, Tyrone voters chose candidates from a field of six on the ballot for three four-year terms. They also chose two candidates among three on the ballot to fill two available two-year terms.
In the race for the three four-year terms, Democrat Jim Grazier tops the list with 737 votes, Republicans Virgie Werner and Jim Latchford registered 720 and 671 votes respectively. The three incumbents bested these challengers: Republican Sarah Jane Miller with 485 votes and Democrats Dan Meckes and Edward Isenberg with 394 and 229 votes respectively.
For the two two-year terms, Don Boytim received 736 on the Democratic side to win one of the seats. Boytim had been appointed to council earlier this year and ran as a Republican in the primary. He lost that race to a candidate that later dropped out due to health reasons. However, Boytim received enough votes as a write-in candidate in the primary to be listed as the Democratic nominee on yesterday’s ballot.
Two Republicans vied for the other seat. Stephen M. Hanzir, Jr. received 655 to claim the other two-year term over Eric W. Detwiler who garnered 579 votes.
Hanzir and Detwiler became candidates when their names were submitted to the county board of elections by the Republican Committee. Hanzir will take over in January for councilman Mark Kosoglow. He was appointed by council in September after Sharon Dannaway resigned her seat to take on the Borough Manager’s duties permanently after serving in that role on an interim basis. After his appointment, Kosoglow submitted his name to the Republican Committee to be placed on the November ballot. Boytim and one other person also expressed interest in having their names placed on the Republican ballot for the two-year term. However, the committee chose to go with Hanzir and Detwiler.
Tyrone voters along with those from surrounding communities in Blair, Huntingdon and Centre counties cast votes for four Tyrone Area School Board positions.
Three incumbents ran unopposed for reelection on both the Democratic and Republican side. However, the top vote getter was newcomer Amy Stever. She will become a member of the board at a reorganizational meeting scheduled in early December. Cindy Whitby will be departing as a school board member.