Kevin S. Barnhardt

Kevin S. Barnhardt

Incumbents did not fare well in the May 21 primary election.

Voters ousted a longtime Republican Berks County commissioner and the lone Democrat serving on the three-member Board of Commissioners barely survived a challenge with the help of absentee ballots.

Incumbent Commissioner Mark C. Scott of Douglass (Berks) Township failed to capture one of two Republican nominations, ending his 24-year tenure as a commissioner.

And Democrat Kevin S. Barnhardt of South Heidelberg Township initially appeared to have lost his bid for re-election once votes were counted on May 21, according to final but unofficial results.

Incumbent Christian Y. Leinbach of Tilden Township, and his running mate Michael Rivera of Bern Township took the two top spots in the Republican primary.

Leinbach was the top Republican vote-getter with 9,592 votes and Rivera coming in second with 8,779 votes.

Scott, first elected in 1995, received only 6,968 votes and newcomer Joe Rudderow took 6,272 votes. Scott was the target of attack ads and mailers by fellow Republicans Leinbach and Rivera.

Leinbach and Rivera will face Donna Reed of Reading, who easily took first place in the Democratic primary with 8,343 votes.

Political activist Michael Morrill of West Reading came in second with 6,489, initially ousting incumbent Barnhardt, who came in third with 6,457 votes.

But once absentee ballots were counted on Friday, May 24, Barnhardt bested Morrill by 22 votes and appears to have won the second Democratic nomination.

Rounding out the crowded Democratic field were Jesse Royer of Spring Township, with 3,260 votes and Joyce Marin of Longswamp Township with 3,259.

Each party nominates two candidates in the primary election, with the top three vote-getters in November elected, ensuring that at least one member of the minority party serves on the three-member board.

Reed, who serves on the Reading City Council, surprised political observers with her strong showing, but many attributed her vote total to a heavy turnout in the City of Reading to elect a new mayor.

Now that a Democrat has been nominated to run in the heavily-Democratic city, it's unlikely voter turnout will be as strong in November.

Here's a recap of selected other races in Berks County:

Boyertown School Board Region 1

Incumbents Rodney Boyer and Christine Neiman will face each other again in November with each securing one line on the ballot Tuesday.

Boyer won 358 Democratic votes to Neiman's 285; whereas Neiman won 529 Republican votes to Boyer's 382, according to unofficial Berks county results.

Region 1 is entirely in Berks County and comprises the boroughs of Bally and Bechtelsville and the townships of Earl, Colebrookdale and Washington.

Boyertown School Board Region 2

Lisa Hogan was the only candidate to win both Democratic and Republican lines in this district, which straddles Berks and Montgomery counties.

James Brophy won a Republican line on the fall ballot with a total of 697 votes in both counties, and Heather Stehman won a Democratic line with 460 votes in both counties.

As a result, all three will again compete for the two open seats with Hogan appearing on both the Republican and Democratic lines; Brophy on the Republican line and Stehman on the Democratic line.

Region 2 includes the Berks County communities of Boyertown and Douglass (Berks); and part of Douglass (Mont.) township.

Boyertown School Board Region 3

All three candidates running in this race will again appear on the November ballot with only one, Brian Hemingway, winning both a Republican and Democratic line.

According to unofficial results from Montgomery County's election website, Hemingway won 573 Democratic votes and 686 Republican votes.

Bryan Lees will appear on the Democratic line, having won 569 votes to Roger Updegrove's 262. However Updegrove won 853 Republican votes, the highest total of all three, to Lees' 615, making Lees the lowest Republican vote-getter.

Region 3 is entirely in Montgomcery County and comprises parts of Douglass (Mont.) and New Hanover and Upper Frederick townships.

Washington Township Supervisors

Incumbent David Moyer beat back a challenge from Jayme Benfield in the Republican primary for township supervisor, 241 votes to 110, according to unofficial results on the Berks County election website.

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