Franklin County mayoral races had one surprise and one clean win

May 19 – The Borough of Chambersburg will have a new man on the Republican ticket for Mayor this fall.

Ken “Hockey” Hock beat incumbent Walt Bietsch in the Republican primary yesterday for the seat. He will run against the Democratic nominee, Marvin Worthy, this fall.

In Waynesboro, on the other hand, incumbent Richard Starliper took the seat for the Republican ticket over the two newcomers vying for the chance.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen talked about the mayor races this morning on First News.

Hockey joined in on the conversation with this to say, “I want to thank everybody out there. We put our time in, we hit the doors. Met a lot of nice people. I had a really great team. Everybody at the polls all day for me, helping. I just want to thank everybody out there for trusting me. I’m looking forward to November.”

Jansen said, “Congratulations, Ken. Don’t take anything for granted. Run as if you’re behind the entire way.”

Hockey said, “It’s been the story of my life, Michele, absolutely I will.”

Jansen noted, “I think you very effectively campaigned. I know you knocked on a lot of doors and that’s a lot of work.”

Ryan added, “One of the things that resonated was how to get more involved with businesses downtown, and ribbon cuttings and engaging with small businesses as a small business owner yourself. I’d like to also encourage you to get some of the folks on borough council, they should be just as engaged with that kind of language as you are. I want the borough council members that get paid some cash money to be just as engaged with the small business stuff as you are, Ken, and I’d like to see you be able to step on that gas pedal.”

Hockey said, “I couldn’t agree more. I don’t’ know why it would be hard for anybody to be kind and help the people to succeed and see businesses do well. For me, win or lose, I was going to do it anyway. I’ll do anything I can downtown. I’ll definitely be looking forward to all that. Can’t wait.”

Ryan said, “We’ll be happy to continue to tell your story. We’ve welcomed your opponent in the fall. Maybe we’ll hear back from your Democrat opponent. Ken, thanks very much and congratulations again.”

Barkdoll added, “That is, I think, somewhat of an upset any time you see an incumbent lose. It looks like Hockey won by about 300 votes.”

As predicted, the election saw a very low turnout.

Barkdoll said, “We were hearing political insiders, people in the system that know a lot of people, saying that they thought Hockey had an edge. They thought he was out campaigning more. I was struck when we interviewed Hockey – and that was the first time I ever met the guy – and I don’t think I’m telling any tales out of school here. When we were off the air and I just asked him how’s the campaign going and I was really struck. I remember him saying, ‘Well, I’ve already knocked on over 500 doors and I’m leaving here again to knock on doors all day.’ Often times in a very local race with a very low turnout, if you have someone out there beating the streets every day knocking on doors, nine out of ten times that’s going to translate to a victory and I think that’s what you saw happen yesterday in that race.”

The big question is will that also bear out in the fall? Could Hockey be the new Mayor of Chambersburg? 

“I’m not so sure,” Barkdoll said. “The Democratic turnout was really low yesterday. Marvin Worthy is a very serious guy and I think he’s going to likely run a very active campaign. The voter registration in the borough of Chambersburg is not as lopsided as it is around the county with the Republican to Democratic ratio. I think it could be a very close race. I think you’re going to see a lot of support behind both of these candidates. I think Hockey is going to take it very seriously as will Marvin Worthy and I think you’re going to see a really active, interesting campaign this fall for that seat.”

In terms of Waynesboro, the Starliper victory wasn’t that much of an upset.

“I don’t think that was a huge surprise,” Barkdoll said. “Mayor Dick was campaigning very actively and I know he took this race very seriously. He’s a very well-known, well-liked person around Waynesboro. Anyone running against him would have had a very difficult time.”