The upcoming November 7th election may seem to lack luster – we will not be voting for President or Governor – but we do have the opportunity to vote for county and municipal officials – positions that make decisions that affect our everyday lives.
*For this blog, we list candidates in the order they appear on ballots. CCJ is a 501c3 nonprofit, which means we do not endorse any political candidates for office.
Both Washington and Greene Counties will be voting for at least one of the following positions in 2023:
Each county has three commissioners that are responsible for its general governance, operation, and fiscal management. While they appoint people to perform the day-to-day tasks, the Commissioners are responsible for the county’s budget, property assessments, elections, planning community development and economic growth, emergency management, conservation, some infrastructure, and social services such as children and youth services, drug and alcohol services, and more.
Therefore, Commissioners have responsibilities that affect our families’ health and generational wealth, how our land is used or preserved, and how our elections will be conducted.
- Voters in Washington County will have a choice of four candidates and they can vote for up to two. The candidates are Larry Maggi (Incumbent Democrat D), Cindy Fisher (D), Nick Sherman (Incumbent Republican R), and Electra Janis (R).
- Voters in Greene County will have four candidates for County Commissioner on their ballots, of which they can pick two. Candidates in Greene County are Blair Zimmerman (Incumbent D), Christine Chris Bailey (D), Betsy Rohanna McClure (Incumbent R), and Jared Edgreen (R).
The District Attorney oversees all criminal investigations and prosecutions in the county. Notably, if there is a crime, it is up to the District Attorney to decide whether that crime is worth investigating and whether to charge the perpetrator and with what. Even environmental crimes are investigated and charged by District Attorneys if they don’t refer them to the state Attorney General.
- Voters in Washington County will choose between Christine DeMarco-Breeden (D) and Jason Walsh (Incumbent R).
- Voters in Greene County will only see Brianna Vanata (R) on the ballot as she is running unopposed. However, voters can write in any name they would like.
Clerk of Courts
The Clerk of Courts is in charge of keeping and maintaining criminal records.
- Voters in Washington County will choose either Bobby Dellorso (D) or Ray Phillips (R).
- Voters in Greene County will only see Crystal Walters (R) on the ballot as she is also running unopposed. However, voters can write in any name they would like.
The treasurer is in charge of county funds, but cannot disperse money without the authorization of the County Commissioners.
- Voters in Washington County will choose between Joe Manning (D) and Tom Flickinger (Incumbent R)
- Voters in Greene County will have Jeannie High Grimes (R) on the ballot, but voters can write in any name they would like.
The county prothonotary is like the clerk of courts, but they keep and maintain records for civil cases instead of criminal ones.
- Voters in Washington County will choose between Sandy Sabot (D) is Laura Hough (Incumbent R)
- Voters in Greene County will choose between Paul Ondash (D) and Jennifer Maas (R).
Both counties have additional elections for county-wide positions that the other county is not voting for this term. Find descriptions of those elections by county below.
A coroner is elected to investigate and determine the cause of death in the case of sudden or violent deaths. S Timothy Warco (Incumbent D) is the only candidate, but voters can write in any name they would like.
Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans Court
The Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans Court is elected to serve two functions. The first, as register of wills, is to issue marriage licenses and validating, accepting, and filing wills and related materials. The second, as Clerk of Orphans Court is to record and maintain records for estates, adoptions, guardianships, wrongful death actions, and more. Alex Taylor (D) and James Roman (Incumbent R) are the candidates.
The County Controller is another financial position. This is the highest financial official, who is also in charge of auditing the county’s finances and producing financial reports. Ami Cree (Incumbent) is the only candidate.
Register & Recorder
The Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds is a second combined role. As the Register of Wills their function is to issue marriage licenses and validate, accept, and file wills and related materials. The function of the Recorder of Deeds records and maintains all documents related to real estate. Donna J Tharp (Incumbent D) is running against Tammy Brookover (R) for the position.
There are many municipal and local elections happening throughout Washington and Greene Counties in 2023. These positions make decisions that shape our childrens’ future, decide what industry is allowed to operate next to our homes, and play a role in our democracy.
School Board elections are happening in most school districts. The board hires district staff, sets taxes, and sets policy that determines what and how students learn.
There are open seats at the Borough, City, and Township level that make zoning decisions, such as approving well pads sites, are responsible for public safety, provide utilities such as water and sewage, and maintain our roads and bridges.
Before voting on November 7th, it is encouraged to look at a sample ballot for your town and research any candidates you are unfamiliar with.
For sample ballots for Washington County, click here.
For sample ballots for Greene County, click here.
Casting an informed vote is the fulfillment of your duty as an American citizen, use your vote wisely.
If you missed Part 1: Judicial Elections, check it out here!