The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 22, 2013

Incumbents advance: 5 candidates in city cross-file for victory

JOHNSTOWN — Five incumbents cross-filed, as Democrats and Republicans, and entered races for both four- and two-year seats on the Greater Johnstown school board.

Nobody else appeared on any ballot.

Those candidates – President Richard Unger, Vice President John Berzinsky, Ed Mikesic, Vincent Arcurio and Cynthia Ahlborn – all advanced to this year’s general election, following Tuesday’s primary.

There are five total open seats: four four-year positions and one two-year post. Therefore, barring unforeseen circumstances, they will all be successful in the fall and return to the school board in January 2014.

Unger complimented the board members who sought re-election.

“This board is probably the best board that I’ve been on,” Unger said. “There are no yes men on this board. If we disagree, I tell them what I think and they tell me what they think. We will always come up with what is best for our community and students.”

In the race for four-year seats, Mikesic finished as the leading candidate on the Republican side with 453 votes, placing him one ahead of Unger’s 452, according to unofficial results at Cambria County’s election website.

Arcurio ended up first on the Democratic list with 1,382. Ahlborn’s 151 votes topped the Republican field in the two-year race. Arcurio’s 577 led the Democratic field.

Asked about the lack of competition for the incumbents, Unger said, “It’s freedom of choice, but I can’t understand what (any opponent’s) platform would even be. We’ve been very committed to a platform for the community and students.”

The four-year seats were open as part of a regular election cycle.

The two-year position became vacant with the death of former board member Raymond Arcurio in June 2012.

Ahlborn was appointed to the board as a replacement until the position could be put on the ballot this year.

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