A seat at the table on the Republican State Committee is the only local contested race on Tuesday’s primary ballot.

County Commissioner Barry Dallara is running against incumbent Malcolm C. McDowell for a spot on the board. Tonya Clark is also running, but as a female she is uncontested. The Committee is responsible for promoting party ideals and vetting candidates for future elections, among other objectives.

This year’s governor’s race boasts the most number of candidates in a Republican primary since 1978, although one candidate officially dropped out of the race Wednesday. With polling at only around 4%, Jake Corman III announced he will no longer pursue the position. With the ballots already printed, Brown said she is waiting to hear from the state about how to proceed with that.

On the Democrat’s ballot for governor is Josh Shapiro, currently the state Attorney General, running unopposed.

The Republican field for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Pat Toomey has seven candidates in the running, compared to a field of four candidates each from Democrats and third party candidates.

Incumbent Republicans Dr. John Joyce for the U.S. House, Pat Stefano for the Pa. Senate and Jesse Topper for the Pa. House are all unopposed for their party’s nomination. No Democrats are competing for those seats.

Turnout for last year’s primary election was about 35%, with that number trending slightly higher for the county Republicans for participation rates. Turnout for the general election in 2021 was lower, at 30%, according to information from the county’s website, bedfordcountypa.org.

“We always encourage people to vote,” Bedford County Election Chair Debra Brown said.

About 60 mail-in ballots were sent out as duplicates a few weeks ago, but Brown said almost everyone who received a second ballot has contacted her office. Even though someone may have received two ballots, a system is in place to ensure that only one will count.

“On the ballots, there’s a bar code and a number,” Brown explained. Once the barcode is scanned, the system will recognize whether that code has already been entered, and if so, the second ballot will not count, she said.

Around 2,150 absentee or mail-in ballots were requested for this year’s primary, according to Brown.

For those heading to the polls, they will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. There have been no changes to polling locations.

Contact Heather Koontz at hkoontz@bedfordgazette.com; 814-623-1151, ext. 150.


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