2008-11-06 / Front Page

Obama Elected Nation's New President

County voters continue to back Republican candidates; Shuster defeats Barr
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Within 30 minutes of the final votes being tabulated in Fulton County Tuesday night, media organizations were broadcasting an 11 p.m. announcement declaring Sen. Barack Obama president-elect.

Needing a total of 270 electoral votes nationwide, the junior U.S. senator from Illinois easily commanded a lengthy-lead over Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain while votes continued to roll in across the United States.

In Pennsylvania, the Obama/Sen. Joe Biden ticket enjoyed a marginal lead over McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin that was predicted by many in the weeks leading up to the "historic" November 4 presidential election. With almost 90 percent of Pennsylvania's precincts reporting, Obama held a whopping 13 percent lead over McCain.

In Fulton County, where Republicans outnumber their Democrat opponents, registered voters seemed to stick close to their party ties. With only an overall 65 percent voter turnout in county, 73 percent of the votes cast for the presidential candidates went to McCain. McCain unofficially tallied 4,612 votes in comparison to Obama's 1,562 votes locally, which equate to 25 percent of the vote.

Independent candidate Ralph

Nader received 57 votes in Fulton

County, while Bob Barr, Libertarian,

rounded out the evening locally with

31 votes.

In asking all Americans to rally for president-elect Obama from along the campaign trail in Phoenix, Arizona, Sen. McCain reminded voters that everyone must work together to get our great nation working again. McCain added in spite of their differences during the campaign, he will indeed help Obama in through the many challenges he will face.

In his acceptance speech, Obama indicated, "We are and always will be the United States of America" and not just various categories of genders, races and religions.

"Because of what we did on this day, in this election, in this defining moment, we've brought change to this nation," he said.

"I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices and I need your help," concluded Obama.

Obama's inauguration as the 44th president of the United States is tentatively set for January 20.

Attorney General

Republican incumbent Tom Corbett easily led Democratic contender John M. Morganelli and Libertarian Marakay J. Rogers in Fulton County Tuesday for the position of attorney general.

Corbett held a three to one ratio over Morganelli with 4,452 votes in comparison to Morganelli's 1,462. Rogers wrapped up the election locally with 160 votes.

Statewide with 92 percent of all precincts tabulated, Corbett will likely hold onto his state seat with 56 percent of the vote. In the meantime, Morganelli, a district attorney, had 46 percent of the vote, and Rogers had two percent.

Auditor General

Incumbent Jack Wagner (D) will hold onto his position in state government as the auditor general after gathering 60 percent of the votes cast statewide. Wagner fended off competitor Chet Beiler (R) for his position as the state's fiscal watchdog. Libertarian Betsy Summers rounded out the state results with three percent.

Locally, registered voters found themselves in favor of Beiler and recorded 3,630 votes in comparison to Wagner's 2,038. Summers had 311 votes in county. State Treasurer

Touted as a business finance expert, Democrat Robert McCord held 56 percent of the state vote with only a small margin of votes still uncounted. McCord's Republican opponent Tom Ellis had 42 percent of the state vote, and Libertarian Berlie Etzel had two percent.

In Fulton County, Ellis, a parter in the public finance department and former county commissioner, garnered the majority of the votes with 4,112 votes. McCord received 1,707 votes locally, and Etzel finished with 159 votes. Ninth Congressional District

In what some termed an "uneven match up," incumbent Bill Shuster easily overcame teacher and competitor Tony Barr. With 94 percent of the votes tabulated in the entire Ninth Congressional District, Shuster held on for 64 percent of the votes cast. Barr, a Democrat who attempted to unseat Shuster for the second time, collected approximately 36 percent of the votes cast statewide.

Locally, Shuster (R), who was seeking re-election to his fifth term of office, finished with 4,030 votes to Barr's 2,174 votes. 78th General Assembly District

An unopposed Dick L. Hess (R/D) garnered 6,003 votes in Fulton County for his return to the 78th District of the General Assembly. Bond Referendum

Registered voters were asked to vote in favor or against the Commonwealth incurring debt in the amount of $400,000 to give grants and loans to municipalities and public utilities for expenses necessary to construct, expand or improve upon drinking water systems, storm water and other wastewater projects.

In Fulton County, 2,233 individuals voted in favor of the referendum question. Those voters, however, were outnumbered locally as an additional 2,637 voters were against the state incurring any further debt.

Statewide, though, the positive votes outweighed the nay sayers with at least 62 percent of the commonwealth in favor of the bond referendum. Areas showing larger numbers of voters in support of the water and sewer improvements were Philadelphia, Delaware, Lackawanna, Montgomery, Allegheny and Cambria counties.

The Fulton County Board of Elections comprised of commissioners Bonnie Mellott Keefer, Daniel Swain Jr. and David Hoover II are scheduled to meet on Friday to count provisional ballots and finalize the vote count.

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