By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
DANVILLE — Republican Jesse Kline defeated first-term Montour County treasurer Jim Petro by 48 votes, according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s general election.
Kline received 1,568 votes compared with 1,520 votes cast for Democratic incumbent Petro who is completing his first four-year term.
Kline said he wanted to thank the voters of Montour County “who had the foresight that we need to move ahead in an area when it comes to service to our citizens.”
He commended Petro for “an excellent campaign.”
“I look forward to serving the citizens of the county and I will not forget who put me where I am,” he said.
Both Kline and Petro waged vigorous door-to-door campaigns throughout the county. Kline had help from his wife, Mary Ellen and step-daughters, Denise Pontz and Kim Renz.
If elected, he pleaded to be a full-time treasurer and will leave his job as account manager of Curbside Hospitality — Geisinger Medical Center’s valet program.
A Montoursville native, he was educated as a respiratory therapist and started that department at Evangelical Community Hospital in 1974. After four years, he became a medical sales representative. He worked for Bird Products Corp. of Palm Springs, Calif., was promoted to Mid-Atlantic manager and then took on a failing Mid-West region which he rebuilt. He later worked for Pryon Technologies where he served as monitoring products manager which took him to Europe and the Far East. After the company was bought out, he rebuilt the Northeast Region of Trianim Health Services.
He worked for Nonin Medical Systems where he served as Mid-Atlantic Region manager and rebuilt that division. He was promoted to eastern U.S. distribution manager — a position he held for three years.
Kline, 66, has held his current post at Geisinger for nearly two years.
A Valley Township resident, he has lived in Montour County for 16 years.
Petro, 70, previously operated his own business in Milton for 20-plus years where he had a garage and sold cars. He opened one of the first service stations along Interstate 80 in 1969 in Valley Township and worked as a sales manager for various car dealerships. The Numidia native has lived in Montour County 37 years.