Monday, November 14, 2011

Saucon Valley School Board Race May Have Hurt Kraft & McClure

Seth Vaughn, Ken Kraft
As I told you on Friday, Landside Lamont McClure's margin of victory in his County Council race against Matt Connolly is a mere 114 votes. For whatever reason, McClure always has trouble at election time. His negative campaigns and incessant robocalls may work against him. In addition, there were three contested Commissioners' races in Bethlehem Township, which brought out the Republican. But there's another reason why McClure fared so poorly, and it's the same problem that also hurt Ken Kraft in his first bid for a County Council seat.

I'm referring to the Saucon Valley School Board race, where five seats were being decided. Four candidates were cross-filed, and more or less assured of victory. But one seat was very much in play. On one side was Jeanne Reilly, a former teacher whose husband teaches in the very school district at which she would be a Director. One the other side was tea-party Republican Bryan Eichfeld, who recently asked Northampton County Council members to sign a "limited government" resolution.

Eichfeld managed to beat Reilly by a few hundred votes.

This race likely hurt McClure in Lower Saucon, where he lost by 81 votes. And it had to hurt Kraft in Hellertown. It may be home to many retired steel workers, but Vaugn managed to grab 319 votes to 276 for Kraft.

That was the only surprise in the Kraft race. In Democratic Bethlehem, Ken clobbered Seth. In one district, the votes were 7 to 1. Although Kraft did lose 3 Bethlehem precincts, his final tally in the Christmas City was 2820 votes to 2159 for Vaughn. In Republican Hanover Township, Seth won every polling place, with a final tally of 857 to Kraft's 655.

Since both candidates support keeping Gracedale in County hands, as well as the eventual funding of a Bi-County health department, it is likely those issues played no role in this race.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

How is it that Barron won every Hellertown polling location over Salvesen. If this theory were true in the Kraft race Barron should have been in the same boat.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Your point is a fair one, but there were differences in that race. The most important difference is that Barron was an incumbent while both Kraft and Vaughn were newcomers. In addition, Vaughn had money to spend that Salvesen did not. Vaughn was able to go door to door, while Salvesen was not. Finally, Barron's margin of victory was probably smaller than it would have been had there been no contested school board race. He won convincingly in the 3rd ward, but not in Wards 1 & 2.

Anonymous said...

Enlighten us... Why could Salvesen not go door to door? I'm sure Barron did and we know Vaughn out worked Kraft in that respect.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Salvesen is older than most candidates and it's too physically demanding.

Anonymous said...

The only "walking" Steve Barron did in this campaign was to Burger King.

Zorn said...

again any excuse to cover up the fact that you picked losers and the people voiced their desires.

Get over it bo and just face reality for once

Zorn said...

bo 2:09,

you really are scrapping the bottom of the barrel with this comment - again any excuse you can find. you should quit now before you make even a bigger fool of yourself

Anonymous said...

Bernie...once again. GET OVER IT! I have never seen such a sore loser before.

Anonymous said...

Vaughn walked Hellertown and it obviously had an impact..Ive never seen a DEmocrat lose all three hellertown wards..Kraft just needs to pay more attention there next time around..very doubtful school board race had big impact on his numbers.

Anonymous said...

"Salvesen is older than most candidates and it's too physically demanding."

Wow, what an age-ist comment.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Don't be silly. It is too physically demanding for him at his age to do the walking around that someone who s younger can do. That's physical reality, not ageism. Believe me, I know no one at my age who can run or walk like they did when they were twenty years younger.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Zorn, I have no idea what you are talking about. I have looked at each of the four district races and have tried to provide a detailed analysis of what happened. In this district, I picked Kraft and, like most people, expected it to be an easy win. The purpose of this post was to explain why it was closer.

Seth Vaughn said...

I am going to have to disagree with you Bernie on this one. I put alot of time in Hellertown and the people there are very receptive to a candidate who takes the time to knock on their door and personally ask for their vote.

Anonymous said...

Back to your ageism defense reply. Just trying to understand what you wrote, not what you defended.

You didn't compare Salvesen today to Salvesen twenty years ago, you compared him to 'most candidates'. So it seems like you pre-judged his physical capabilities based on his age verses 'most candidates' but your original pre-judgement statement was actually in response to a question about him verses Barron.

Regardless of Salvesen's age, probably half of Baron's, I would bet Salvesen would hold his own in a physical race.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Probably.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Seth, you did very well, whatever the reason.

Zorn said...

well at least you got one horse right. it's a good thing for your wallet that you don't play the ponies

Anonymous said...

Jabba the Hutt can beat Steve Barron in a foot race.

Anonymous said...

319 to 276, looks like they both spent time working in Hellertown, the only difference is the turnout for the School-Board race and Seth knows that...