Tom Conners Secures Sufficient Write-In Votes
Unofficial write-in votes cast in all but one of the 15 counties spanning the 9th Congressional District tentatively show Tom Conners, Democratic challenger to Republican Bill Shuster, will be squaring off against the incumbent this fall in the general election.
Reports issued last week through the Johnstown Tribune- Democrat indicate Conners, a former general manager at locallywatched WTAJ-TV in Altoona, received more than enough votes required to have his name appear on the November ballot. In fact, Conners not only easily exceeded the 1,000 votes needed but even topped Shuster’s attempt to gain the Democrat Party’s nomination.
Unofficial results reveal Conners secured a total of 1,928 writein votes from registered Democrats to Shuster’s 1,248 votes. At the time of the Tribune-Democrat’s announcement, write-in votes from Clearfield County were not yet available.
Here in Fulton County, the 300 write-in votes cast by Democrats were split between Conners receiving 218 votes and Shuster with 22 votes. Ironically, state Rep. Dick Hess received 54 votes on the Democratic ticket for the 9th Congressional District even though he’s currently running unopposed for re-election in the 78th Legislative District of Pennsylvania.
In neighboring Franklin County, the Public Opinion has reported Conners tallied 335 votes among Democrats to 148 for Shuster. Any misspelled or similar names that required consolidation must have been contested by either candidate to meet last Tuesday’s deadline.
In his native Bedford County, Shuster carried the majority of write-in votes with 163, while Conners followed closely with 155.
In announcing his decision to mount a write-in campaign only weeks before the May 18 spring primary, Conners stated he was confident he could surmount the obstacle and bring an end to the 38-year-old “Shuster Dynasty.”
Conner’s platform includes working for the middle class through supporting policies that will enhance job creation, prevent trade pacts that damage jobs in the nation, provide a topnotch education for youths, developing infrastructure to attract commerce and tourism to our region and implementing a new healthcare system that will be cost-effective.
Conners stated he was firmly against the privatization of Social Security and Medicare as well as placing the financial burden on the backs on working families.
In addition to his stint at WTAJ as a television executive, Conners also worked for the station as a local sales manager and as a station manager for WOWKTV located in Huntingdon, W.Va. A resident of Blair County and an Army veteran, Conners returned to the area six years ago to enjoy retirement.