- Grove City, Pennsylvania

November 26, 2013

Fresh faces win most school board votes

Borough council, township races tallied

By Felicia A. Petro/Senior Reporter
Allied News

GROVE CITY — Two new public officials won top votes in the largest race in Mercer County for school board.

Heather M. Baker (R/D) and Paul Gubba (R) won two of four seats open on Grove City Area School Board.

Baker, who is the children’s director at Grove City Community Library, gained 1,834 votes – the most votes of all the candidates running for school board. The lifelong Grove City resident is married to James M. Baker; they have a son in high school.

Gubba, who covers a four-state territory as a medical sales manager, gained 1,441 votes in the general election, the third highest out of seven running for the four seats. He is married to Colleen Ryan Gubba; they have six children and have lived in Grove City for six years.

Incumbent William Reznor (R/D) garnered 1,567 votes – and incumbent J. Scott Somora (R) had 1,293 votes.

Incumbent William E. Norris (I) did not make the top four, with only 793 votes in the election. Democrats Dawnielle Minch and John M. Sestak received 766 and 689 votes, respectively.

Besides the three open seats currently held by Reznor, Somora and Norris, a fourth seat was opened by school director Leonard Clarke, who is retiring after three terms. The winners will join the board in December.

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Grove City council had six open seats, with only four candidates running on the ballot, including long-time council President George Pokrant (R), who got 138 votes for Ward 1.

Ward 2 incumbent Andrea Folkertsma did not run again for council, leaving a four-year seat open in the election for any write-in candidate interested – or council will have to appoint someone if the seat remains empty.

Another seat in Ward 2 will be left vacant by Bill Matesich, who was appointed this year to replace councilman Patrick Chapman. No one, including Matesich, ran for the seat in the primary election in May. If he had run and won, he would have two years left on the seat, but that Ward 2 spot will now be left open for a write-in candidate or a council appointee.

Both of the Ward 2 seats received three write-in votes.

Council incumbents Mary K. Mattocks (R) and Joel Bigley (D) ran unopposed. Mattocks received 131 votes for Ward 3 and Bigley received 154 votes for Ward 4.

Todd Wood (R), the only new candidate, ran unopposed for Rich Talbert’s seat in Ward 5. Wood had formerly been a member of council and received 201 votes in the election.

Grove City council is the largest governing body in Mercer County with 10 seats.

In the mayoral race, incumbent Randy L. Riddle (R) ran unopposed and garnered 787 votes. Tax collector Matthew D. Fischer (R/D) received 798 votes.

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In neighboring townships, incumbents Joe Holmes (R) received 655 votes for supervisor in Pine Township and Ron Faull (R/D) received 226 votes for supervisor in Liberty Township.

There were 19,574 voters in the county, out of 72,226 registered.

That makes voter turnout approximately 28 percent, which is typical for a municipal race, said Jeff Greenburg, director of the Mercer County elections office.

Counting of absentee ballots were set to be finished by Friday, which was mainly expected to affect races in the Shenango Valley, he added.

Next week, write-in candidates will be tallied, which could have an effect on 41 races – particularly Greenville council and school boards in Commodore Perry, West Salem and Mercer.

Information from The Herald was used in this story.

For more election results in Mercer County, visit

Published Nov. 9, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.