Voters seem to favor Democrats for Lehigh County board
Voters on Tuesday appear to have lost favor with two incumbent Republicans and instead picked four Democrats to serve on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners.
According to unofficial results from the Lehigh County Voter Registration Office, Democrat Dan Hartzell garnered an unofficial 29,747 votes, 14.77 percent of the total votes cast. If the vote is certified, he will return for a second, four-year term in office.
Hartzell, of South Whitehall Township, is a Whitehall High School and Kutztown University graduate.
A former Morning Call reporter, editor and columnist, Hartzell covered municipal government during more than 38 years in the news business before retiring in 2014.
During his campaign, Hartzell said maintaining county ownership of the two Cedarbrook nursing homes, as well as developing a new addition to the Allentown home and renovating the existing buildings, are among his top priorities.
Attorney Dave Harrington, of Lower Milford, appears to have come in second receiving an unofficial 26,047 votes, 12.94 percent of the total.
He told The Press before the election he plans on helping senior citizens by working with the state to find nonproperty tax revenue sources for Lehigh County; making sure Cedarbrook does not get sold to private companies; and working on ethics ordinances to give seniors peace-of mind that their government is working for them and not beholden to special interests.
Weisenberg Township resident Bob Elbich appears to be the third Democrat voted to the county board.
He garnered an unofficial 25,197 votes, 12.51 percent of the total 201,358 votes cast.
During his campaign kickoff, Elbich said he founded two Lehigh County companies, Pure Fit Inc. and Exigo Manufacturing Inc., that remain in existence today.
A former manager of manufacturing methods at Air Products and operations manager of Acme Cryogenics, Elbich said he sees himself as “a problem solver.”
Elbich has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University.
Elbich served on Weisenberg Township Planning Commission for 15 years.
Elbich said he wants to focus on economic growth and job-training initiatives.
The fourth Democrat who appears to be a new member of the county board is Zakiya Smalls.
She received an unofficial 24,757 votes, 12.30 percent of the total vote.
Before the election, Smalls told The Press Cedarbrook needs to remain a public facility and the county needs to continue to move forward with the renovations to accommodate the needs of the residents.
Smalls said she would advocate on state and federal levels to raise social security so senior citizens may continue to live with dignity.