By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
DANVILLE — A former mayor and county commissioner who pledged to be an active mayor was elected Danville’s new mayor, according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s general election.
Republican Bernie Swank received 366 votes compared with 316 cast for Democrat Tom Graham, recently retired Danville borough secretary.
Democratic Mayor Ed Coleman chose not to run again for health reasons. He has been mayor for 16 years. The mayor serves a four-year term and is paid $1,875 annually.
“I want to thank Jesus for allowing me to be in this, my husband and everyone who stood at the polls for me — they were such a great help,” Swank said.
Graham congratulated her by kissing her on the cheek.
“I’m thrilled. I’m back,” Swank said.
Graham, 61, and Swank, 73, were scheduled to speak at the League of Voters candidates’ night Oct. 29 in Danville’s ballroom, but Graham failed to appear. He offered a statement read by a League of Voters member.
A cosmetologist in Danville for 40 years, Swank last served in public office in 2008. She was mayor and a Montour County commissioner from 1994-96 and mayor from 1989-96. She was a commissioner from 1996 to 2008.
She and her husband, “Red,” operate Swank’s Salon and Hair Replacement at 108 Mill St. She is a member of the Montour County Task Force, a board member of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce and Central Susquehanna Opportunities Inc. She is a member of the Professional Beauty Association and National Cosmetology Association. A Danville resident since 1973, she is originally from Waynesboro.
Previously Swank said, “I love this community and I chose to be here. It’s a great community. We have more to offer than a lot of other communities.”
She said she would like to be involved and contribute as much as she can.
Graham said, “The borough gave me 40 years of employment and I enjoyed it. I want to contribute as much as I can. There is no motive and I don’t see any issue. I’d like to continue to be involved and contribute as much as I can.”
Graham, of 109 Dey St., worked for Danville borough for nearly 40 years.
He started working for the borough in 1973 at the sewage treatment plant and later transferred to the water treatment plant before being appointed borough secretary.