MILFORD — Pike District Attorney Ray Tonkin beat back a tough challenge in his bid for re-election, winning Tuesday by a margin of less than 4 percent.
Fellow Republican Kelly Gaughan bested Tonkin in the May primary, but a good showing of write-in votes by Democrats saved Tonkin's political future. Encouraged by that support, Tonkin decided in July to pursue re-election on the Democratic line, even while remaining a Republican. In September, a Monroe County judge dismissed a challenge from Democrats seeking to throw him off the line. The Pike County Democratic Committee did not endorse him.
The unofficial results from Tuesday's election give Tonkin 5,415 votes and Gaughan 5,024 votes. In Blooming Grove, where two state troopers were shot in an ambush at their barracks, the two candidates were tied, each with 461 votes. Tonkin in his campaign said he was the better person to prosecute Eric Frein, the alleged shooter, against whom he is pursuing capital charges.
The two candidates were also nearly tied in Dingman Township, with 1,039 votes going to Gaughan and 1,040 to Tonkin.
Tonkin had a wider margin of victory in Milford Borough, 158-198; and Milford Township, 198-233.
Tonkin has worked for the Pike County District Attorney's Office since 1999 and has been district attorney for seven years. He will serve for four more years.
In his campaign he stressed Gaughan's lack of experience of a prosecutor. Gaughan's campaign emphasized that she was supported by the state police.
Commissioners to returnThe county commissioner incumbents will also return to office. Republicans Matthew Osterberg, with 6,043 votes, and Richard Caridi, with 5,459 votes, prevailed in a challenge by Democrats David Ruby, who won 4,033 votes, and Steven Guccini, who won 4,247 votes. The term is for four years.
In Milford Township, Republican Gary Williams will keep his seat as supervisor, a six-year term. Williams received 237 votes to Democrat Robert DiLorenzo's 179.
Upset in MilfordWrite-in votes delivered an upset in the race for Milford Borough council, where four seats with four-year terms opened up. The "Milford on the Verge" write-in candidates had the strongest showing, but results are close. Check back for more reporting on this race.
For Election Day tallies, please see sidebar.
Editor's note: The original online version of this story included the incorrect name for Milford on the Verge. The Courier regrets the error.