WILKES-BARRE — Much of the talk before Tuesday’s primary centered on which presidential candidates Republican delegate candidates were supporting.
On Tuesday, whether voters were aware of who the delegate candidates were for or not, six of those supporting Republican front-runner Donald Trump — three each in the 11th and 17th Congressional Districts — got their tickets punched for the GOP National Convention, set for July 18-21 in Cleveland.
According to the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections, the following number of delegates were to be elected:
In the 11th Congressional District, three Republican delegates and three alternate delegates were chosen. On the Democratic side, three male delegates and 3 female delegates were selected.
In the 17th Congressional District, three Republican delegates and three alternate delegates were elected. On the Democratic side, four male delegates and three female delegates were chosen and one alternate delegate.
According to unofficial results on the Pennsylvania Department of State website, with nearly 99 percent of the votes counted, here are the top vote-getters:
• 11th Congressional District: Republicans, Rick Morelli, 17.5 percent; David J. McElwee, 14.2 percent; Andrew Shecktor, 10.4 percent. Alternates, Maria Haste, 51.7 percent; Donald J. Ely, 48.3 percent.
Democrats, Cheryl L. Marshall, 12 percent; Jill D. Carslon, 11.6 percent; Rogette N. Harrris, 11.4 percent; Eric Z. Graff, 11.1 percent; Alexander R. Reber, 10.8 percent; Peter M. Good, 10.7 percent.
Marshall, Carlson and Graff support Sanders; Harris, Reber and Good support Clinton.
• 17th Congressional District: Republicans, Teresa Lynette Villano, 15.2 percent; Carolyn Bonkoski, 15 percent; Gloria Lee Snover, 12.9 percent. Alternates, Mary Beth Dougherty, 38.3 percent; Thomas Whitehead, 32.4 percent; Paul M. DeFabo, 29.22 percent.
Democrats, William Courtright, 8.6 percent; Grace McGregor Kramer, 8.5 percent; Edward O’Brien, 8.5 percent; Jennifer Newland, 8.3 percent; Jessica Rothchild, 8.1 percent; John Ferguson, 7.7 percent; Neil Makhija, 7.4 percent. Alternate delegate, Courtney Washo.
Courtright, Kramer, Rothchild, O’Brien, Newland, and Makhija support Clinton; Ferguson supports Sanders.
Morelli, McElwee and Shecktor in the 11th District are all Trump supporters, as are Villano, Bonkoski and Snover in the 17th District.
“Without question, I am supporting Donald Trump,” Morelli said. “I’m honored to represent the 11th District at the Republican National Convention. I am hoping to to help bring Trump to the White House. I will support Trump all the way through, even if it becomes a brokered convention.”
Villano, of West Pittston, thanked the voters for selecting her, Bonkoski and Snover — all Trump supporters.
“I am so grateful to everybody who voted for us and I am so excited about what Donald Trump did in Pennsylvania,” Villano said. “All three of us will vote for Trump on every ballot at the convention.”
About the delegate race
• There are 71 GOP delegates in Pennsylvania, with 54 elected in the 18 congressional districts at three per district.
• Another 14 “at-large” delegates are chosen by party leaders and must vote for the primary winner on the first ballot only at the convention.
• The three “automatic” delegates — the state GOP chairman, national committeeman and national committeewoman — also are legally bound to vote for the Pennsylvania winner on the first ballot only.
• On the Democratic side, each congressional district has “pledged” delegates whose names appear on the primary ballot and have declared their support for a particular candidate.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.