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Write-Ins to the Rescue in Coopersburg

Candidates emerge to fill open council, mayor seats in Coopersburg.

Gary Hovis says that if he's elected, he'll be proud to serve as Coopersburg's new mayor.

But until Tuesday, he wasn't entirely sure he was in the running.

"Wow, that's news to me," Hovis, a former borough council president, said when a reporter told him he'd gotten enough write-in votes to appear on the ballot.

Coopersburg finished the May primary with a problem: It had more open seats than it had candidates to fill them.

Mayor Jonathan Mack isn't seeking reelection, and no one ran for his seat. Likewise, there were four open council seats in the primary, but only three candidates.

Now, it appears write-in candidates have come to Coopersburg's rescue, with Hovis getting 21 votes last month, according to the Lehigh County Voter Registration Office.

Hovis, a Republican, had heard he'd won in a write-in campaign—one that he didn't launch himself—but wasn't sure it was official. He said he'd be happy to serve, having spent nine years on borough council.

"It’s not fresh territory," he said. I told them before if they need help, I’d step up. Nobody steps up to be the mayor. It’s an important position.”

Mack, Coopersburg's current mayor, could wind up being one of its new councilmen. He was one of two write-in candidates for council, along with resident Timothy Pica.

That means there will be a council race in the fall, with five candidates—Mack, Pica and incumbents Dennis M. Balascak, Harvey R. Greenland and Richard N. Nalichowski all seeking four open seats.

Mack got 20 votes while Pica received 16, said Timothy Benyo, the chief clerk of the voter registration office.

He said other candidates might have gotten votes, but only Hovis, Mack and Pica passed the write-in threshold of 10 votes that candidates need to get on the ballot.

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