LEWISBURG — Union and Snyder County Republicans will choose their nominee tonight to run in a special election to fill the Pennsylvania House seat representing the 85th district — the seat vacated by Fred Keller, who is now representing Congressional District 12 in the U.S. House.
Seventeen conferees will meet at a special Republican Pa-85 convention 6 p.m. at the Country Cupboard, in Lewisburg.
"The 17 conferees," said Carolyn Conner, chair, Union County Republican Committee chair, "are comprised of nine from Union and eight from Snyder counties. That number is based upon the votes for President Trump in the parts of the county that lie in the 85th district."
Union County Republican Committee bylaws, like most counties, call for the chair to appoint conferees, Conner said.
"The chosen nine represent a cross-section of longtime politically involved individuals; some who serve on UCRC and others that are politically involved as volunteers and community leaders," she explained.
The four candidates seeking the nomination are Darwin Swope, David Rowe, Ben Ranck, and Clair Moyer.
Each needs a conferee to place the candidate's name into nomination, and an additional second, Conner explained. "Only those with seconded nominations from the floor will be heard," said said. "Candidates will have time to make a statement to the Convention delegates. Subsequent rounds of voting will occur until one candidate exceeds 50 percent."
Democrats will be meeting to choose their nominee next Thursday, June 20, 6 p.m. at B.J.s in Selinsgrove.
"It's an open event," said Rick Thomas, Union County Democratic Committee chair, "but there’s not a lot of room."
The process will involve candidates being allowed to address the members of the caucus/convention, with a limited amount of time for delegates to ask questions, Thomas said, "which is why we’ve invited them to meet with Union County Democrats on June 17 in Lewisburg."
Ultimately, the Democratic nominee would need a simple majority (50% plus 1). "If no one gets that the first round," Thomas said, "then the candidate with the fewest number would drop off, and we’d vote again on the remaining candidates, continuing as needed until someone gets that simple majority."
Thomas said he knows of four candidates who have completed the application and are vying for the nomination: Dr. Jenn Rager Kay, Adam Rosinski, Bonnie Hamilton and David Heayn.