Election signs

Alyssa Choiniere | Herald-Standard

A grouping of signs in South Union Township at the intersection of South Mount Verrnon and Lebanon avenues promote candidates for seeking various offices in Fayette County. Polls open today at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Fayette County is expecting low or average turnout for the Nov. 5 election, while Greene County is anticipating high turnout.

Greene County has contested races for both the district attorney and county commissioners. Both of those brought out high numbers of voters in the primaries. Greene County Elections Bureau Director Tina Kiger said turnout could be as high as 50%.

“When I think about it, with the races we have, it’s possible,” she said.

Democrats Blair Zimmerman, 66, and Dave Coder, 62, both of Franklin Township, are incumbents seeking another four-year term as commissioner. Republican candidates Mike Belding, 57, of Whiteley Township and Betsy Rohanna McClure, 60, of Franklin Township will challenge them for their seats.

For Greene County district attorney, Democrat Jessica Phillips of Waynesburg and Republican David Russo of Jackson Township are vying for the seat. Patrick Fitch of Waynesburg lost to Phillips in the primary, but is running as a write-in candidate. District Attorney Marjorie Fox held the position since 2001 and decided not to run for another four-year term.

“We need to get out there and vote,” Kiger said.

In Fayette County, Elections Bureau Director Larry Blosser said he thinks turnout will be low. The average is 30%, and he thinks it will be slightly lower.

“The turnout is going to be low, I’d say, but I can’t predict how low it’s going to be,” he said.

He said the contested county races – commissioners, clerk of courts and coroner – will be the biggest draw.

Four candidates are running for three Fayette County Commissioner seats. David Lohr, 63, is the Republican incumbent. Vincent Vicites, 59, is the Democratic incumbent. The challengers are Republican Scott Dunn, 54, of Dunbar and Democrat Kevin Jones, 51, of Fairchance.

John S. Terravecchia, a Republican, is challenging Dr. Philip E. Reilly, a Democrat, for the county coroner seat. Reilly is seeking his 10th four-year term as coroner.

For clerk of courts, Republican Tina Allen, 61, of North Union Township is running against Democrat Timothy Dye, 59, of Uniontown for the open position.

“People gave their life for you to go out and voice your opinion, and it’s a shame that people don’t go out and vote,” Blosser said.

He said the election board is also still looking for precinct workers.

Fayette County voters will be using an older model of voting machines for the last time. New voting machines will be used during the 2020 election, he said. Blosser said they have nearly completed training for election board members on the new machines.

Greene County used the new voting machines for the first time at the primaries. Kiger said they did not have any problems.

“They worked very well,” she said.

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