Now that the primary of 17 is complete, we have the following lineup:
Amesbury was a pretty popular guy before considering a run. Now that he is on both sides of the ballot and afforded the benefit of his votes being accumulated on both sides…he might as well start getting fitted for his black robe.
The remaining seat is going to be tougher to call. Gartley is a registered Democrat, Hughes a registered Republican. For all intents and purposes, Gartley should be favored to win. She is a Democrat in a Democratic county…but that might not be the best thing for her candidacy right now.
In reference to the trouble that Luzerne County government has had with all of its recent scandals, they have thus far has been perpetuated by Democrats that were put in power by the electorate or by political appointment. Luzerne County is controlled entirely by Democrats (with the exception of the sometime-alliance between Patrilla and Urban.) Every bit of these scandals happened under Democrat control and or a Democrat’s watch. You would think this could easily develop into a “throw the bums out” mentality where the majority would see the past infractions of the Democrats, identify with the Republicans who haven’t had their hands in the cookie jar and try something new. In order to do that, the Republican Party would really need to make the Democrats own these scandals. So far, they have not.
This race will probably be the highest profile election in Luzerne County. It will certainly be the one where the most money is spent. While Hughes and Gartley are fighting it out for the remaining judicial seat, the real results of the race will be a determination of success or failure on the part of the new leadership in the Republican Party of Luzerne County.