WILKES-BARRE – A Hazle Township man seeking re-election as a township supervisor will appear on the Democratic and Republican tickets this fall after two county judges ruled he will receive 16 primary write-in votes.
Pasco Schiavo, an attorney who represents Francis Boyarski, filed a petition last month to have the write-in votes included in the primary election total. “My client just wanted to get the votes that were cast for him,” Schiavo said Friday. “He wanted what was right, and what was right was to get the votes.”
According to Boyarski’s petition, the Luzerne County Board of Elections denied the inclusion of several write-in votes on June 2 because “Boyarski,” “Butch Boyarski” and “Eugene Boyarski” were written.
The election board uses a blanket policy that only write-ins with the name of the candidate and how it appeared on the ballot would be counted.
Schiavo argued the 16 votes that included Boyarski’s nickname and middle name were clearly meant for him.
In a seven-page opinion, county Judges Thomas Burke and Joseph Sklarosky Jr. said Boyarski testified credibly at a June 14 hearing that he had conducted an aggressive campaign, knocked on doors, made phone calls and met people on the street.
The judges said Boyarski was the only candidate with the name Boyarski and that it is known that Boyarski typically goes by his nickname, “Butch,” or his middle name, “Eugene.”
The judges also said Boyarski has served as a supervisor for 12 years, and an argument made that the votes could have been for Boyarski’s father does not hold any weight because the elder Boyarski was not a candidate for any office and has never been elected to office.
Boyarski’s opponent, Richard Wienches, had made that argument at the June 14 hearing, and noted the write-ins shouldn’t be counted because voters could have cast them for the elder Boyarski.
Wienches had received 43 Republican write-ins and Boyarski received 35.
With the addition of 16 votes to Boyarski’s total, he now secures the Democratic and Republican nominations for the six-year supervisor term. No Republicans appeared on the ballot in May.
Wienches said Friday he wishes Boyarski well and congratulates him on his nomination. “It’s apparent the people of Hazle Township have chosen who they want to lead the township forward,” Wienches said, noting that he will not likely run for township supervisor in the future.