Ties in 39 races to be broken Friday in Westoreland County

Westmoreland County election officials said 39 races on the Nov. 2 ballot ended in ties that will be broken Friday through a casting of lots, including one open seat for Jeannette city controller where 30 candidates each received one write-in vote.

The county’s elections board on Wednesday issued a pre-certification of results from the election that included races for state judge seats, county row offices, municipal positions and school boards. A final certification, after a five-day window when potential court challenges can be filed, is scheduled Nov. 22.

None of the major races on this year’s ballot were close. Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli ousted six-term Democratic incumbent District Attorney John Peck by more than 13,000 votes. Ken Bacha, the Democratic veteran coroner who has been in office since 2002, was defeated by Republican Tim Carson by 2,300 votes.

Margins were smaller in many of the municipal races. Each of the tied races involved write-in candidates with most receiving just one vote. Four municipal council races, in New Alexandria, Adamsburg, Sutersville and Youngstown, ended in ties.

Results showed constable seats and additional races for a handful of auditor and tax collector positions also ended with multiple write-in candidates receiving a single vote.

The pre-certified election results are posted on the county’s web page.

Interim election bureau director Greg McCloskey said ties will be broken at noon Friday in the jury services center in the Westmoreland County Courthouse basement across from the county sheriff’s department. Candidates will draw lots to determine winners, McCloskey said.

Meanwhile, election officials are expected to continue a state-ordered recount in the race for Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court. Westmoreland County’s portion of the recount started Wednesday morning, with all 88,000 ballots being re-tallied.

Officials said the recount is expected to take about three days.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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