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Freeport, Karns City school board races updated

Of the seven school board primary races on Tuesday night, May 16, two of them took place in school districts which serve an area in more than one county. These are Freeport Area School District, which serves parts of both Butler and Armstrong counties, and Karns City Area School District, which takes up parts of Butler, Armstrong, and Clarion counties. Candidates can cross-file to be on both the Democratic and Republican ballots.

These are the unofficial vote totals reported by all counties as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 17. No provisional votes have been counted.


In all, the top five Republican vote-getters across both counties were Sylvia Maxwell with 963 votes or 19.43% of the vote; followed by Dino Digiacobbe with 919 votes or 18.55%; Dan Ritter with 765 votes or 15.44%; Greg Selinger with 642 votes or 12.96%; and Michael J. Huth with 624 votes or 12.59%.

In Butler County, the top five candidates on the Republican ballot were Maxwell with 609 votes or 20.29% of the vote; followed by Digiacobbe with 565 votes or 18.82%; Ritter with 480 votes or 15.99%; Samuel Ross with 361 votes or 12.03%; and Selinger with 360 votes or 11.99%.

Meanwhile, on Armstrong County’s Republican ballot, Maxwell and Digiacobbe were tied at the top with 354 votes or 11.9% of the vote. Behind them were Huth with 323 votes or 10.86%; Ritter with 285 votes or 9.58%; and Selinger with 282 votes or 9.48%.

As for the Democratic ballot, with both counties factored in, Maxwell and Huth were tied atop the ballot with 510 votes or 17.75% of the vote; followed by Digiacobbe with 427 votes or 14.86%; Adam Toncini with 405 votes or 14.09%; and Selinger with 397 votes or 13.81%.

On the Democratic ballot in Butler County, the top five candidates were Maxwell with 346 votes or 18.11% of the vote; followed by Toncini with 297 votes or 15.54%; Huth with 292 votes or 15.28%; Digiacobbe with 284 votes or 14.86%; and Selinger with 266 votes or 13.92%.

On Armstrong County’s Democratic ballot, Huth led the way with 218 votes or 15.35% of the vote; followed by Maxwell with 164 votes or 11.55%; Digiacobbe with 143 votes or 10.07%; Selinger with 131 votes or 9.23%; and Toncini with 108 votes or 7.61%.

Karns City

Spurred on by a particularly strong showing in Butler County, where he gathered over 100 votes more than the next-leading candidate, former Karns City Area School Board member Denny Kelly topped the Republican ballot in the primary election.

Across all three counties in Karns City’s catchment area, Kelly gathered 807 votes — 16.67% of the vote.

Behind him were incumbent board member Josh Price with 781 votes or 16.67% of the vote; fellow Brenda Ealey with 706 votes or 14.58%; former board member William Summerville with 659 votes or 13.61%; and another former board member, Joseph Boltz, with 640 votes or 13.22%.

Of the seven Karns City candidates who took part in the primary, only one — Donald Scherer — did not cross-file. Scherer, who ran only as a Republican, finished seventh with 583 votes or 12.04% of the vote and will not advance to the November general election.

On the Democratic ballot, Ealey came out on top with 397 votes or 19.68% of the vote. She was followed by Price with 376 votes or 18.64%; former board member Tara Hackwelder with 352 votes or 17.45%; Boltz with 319 votes or 15.82%; and Summerville with 287 votes or 14.23%.

By coming in third on the Democratic ballot, Hackwelder secured a place on the general election ballot in November despite finishing outside of the top five on the Republican ballot.

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Tara Bly Hackwelder and Brenda Ealy are incumbent board members who are running for .

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