Your Primary Ballot

 IMPORTANT: Some candidates may have cross-filed, so you may see Republicans running for Judge or School Board positions on the Democratic ballot. This list only includes candidates who are registered as Democrats.

See the entire list of candidates at Lehigh County’s website.

The Democratic Primary election takes place on Tuesday, May 21st.

Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge

(Vote for two)

With working class roots, Amanda Green-Hawkins went to public school, earned her BA at Duke University, and worked three jobs to put herself through Northeastern University School of Law. She clerked for IUE workers in California to defend immigrant women against unsafe working conditions, battled companies on behalf of United Steelworkers’ employee pensions, and has served on many community boards around Pittsburgh. She was also a member of the Election Protection team during the 2008 and 2012 elections and has taken on many pro bono cases in her legal career.

Presently a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge, Daniel McCaffery joined the army at 18, was chosen to attend West Point, then graduated Temple and Temple University Law School. He has been a civil trial attorney and an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia. He was elected in 2013 and has since presided over 100 jury trials and thousands of bench trials.

As a former University of Pittsburgh basketball player who then earned a law degree from Duquesne University, Beth Tarasi has been involved in some of the highest profile and complex legal cases including Three Mile Island and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. She is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association where she serves on the Rules Committee, the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, and the Pennsylvania Association of Justice.

Lehigh County Judge

(Vote for one)

Presently a Magisterial District judge in Allentown, Rashid Santiago knows what it’s like to grow up here, because he did. After attending William Allen High School and George Quaker School, he graduated from Gwynedd Mercy College and Widener University School of Law. He appreciated the many people of our community who invested in him and wants to pay it forward and serve others. In his present position he has worked hard to treat all who come before his bench with respect, fairness and dignity. A married father of three, he also gives back by teaching criminal justice at Lehigh Carbon Community College and coaching youth basketball and soccer.

With a belief that the rule of law can protect and serve others received from his fifth generation Lehigh Valley family and mentors, Zac Cohen has worked as a trial lawyer and partner at Lesavoy Butz & Seitz, where he represents individuals and businesses in a variety of legal matters. He also makes time for the Wills for Heroes program, volunteers weekly at a group home for cognitive disabilities and is an active board member of a local school.

With a family having Lehigh Valley roots over 150 years deep, (his Pennsylvania German ancestors fought in the Civil War) Eric Dowdle began his career helping residents as an Assistant City Solicitor. He has also served as Assistant District Attorney in both Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Then he opened his own civil practice where he fought for compensation for injured workers and their families who were victims of asbestos exposure.

A graduate of Yale University and University of Pennsylvania Law School, William Ehrlich began his legal career in the New Jersey appellate courts, followed by a position with a Pennsylvania U.S. District Court judge and then as an assistant public defender in Chester County. He has practiced law for more than 30 years, focusing on civil litigation but also as a juvenile dependency attorney, where he was involved in the “kids for cash” juvenile court scandal that brought down two Luzerne County judges for taking kickbacks.

Lehigh County Commissioner-at-Large

(Vote for four)

After passing the PA Bar Exam, Dave Harrington began work as an Immigration Attorney, where he helps people from across the world get status in the United States. This rewarding job gives him the privilege of learning from people around the world about their lives, home countries, and experiences. He is running for commissioner because he sees a need in our county for a government that is focused on people first.

A Mechanical Engineer who worked on space shuttle components, created and directed two Lehigh Valley manufacturing businesses, and has over 15 years on the Weisenberg Township Zoning Hearing Board, Bob Elbich is also volunteer with Red Cross, Harrison-Morton Middle School, New Tripoli Volunteer Fire Company and Weisenberg Volunteer Fire Company. He is also presently on the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

A Fordham University graduate, Zakiya Smalls runs a successful Lehigh Valley business, J&Z Professional Services. Her clients include St. Luke’s Health Networks, Allentown Art Museum, Connoisseur Media (local radio stations like 99.9 The Hawk) and East Stroudsburg University. She also belongs to the Lehigh Valley Health Network Board of Associates, the African American Business Leaders Council for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Allentown and CREW Lehigh Valley.

Presently a Commissioner At-large who took office in January 2016, Dan Hartzell retired in September 2014 after more than 38 years as a reporter and columnist for The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown. Dan wrote the ‘Road Warrior’ question-and-answer column on traffic and transportation issues during his last 12 years at the paper. A lifelong Lehigh Valley resident, Dan is a Whitehall High School alumnus and a 1973 Kutztown University graduate with a B.A. in English.

Lehigh County District Attorney

(Vote for one)

Jim has been a federal public defender for capital cases (people on death row) for the past 20+ years. A resident of Zionsville, he would like to bring his unique perspective to the Lehigh County DA’s office, to make sure that the justice system is safe and fair for everyone, ensuring that all people are protected and treated equally under the law.

Lehigh County Controller

(Vote for one)

A resident of South Whitehall where he lives with his wife and two children, Mark Pinsley has made his name as co-owner of DermaMed Solutions. He has an BSBA in Finance from Northeastern University as well as an MBA from Indiana University. He is a committed volunteer in his community and a founding member of United for America. He is passionate about working with people from every end of the political spectrum to solve our most pressing problems.

Clerk of Judicial Records

(Vote for one)

Andrea Naugle was first elected as clerk of courts in 1995. There have been changes in the job but she has evolved the office with advances in technology to provide greater accessibility to the public. She was unopposed in her last two runs for the position. In addition to her professional responsibilities, she’s an officer in the Allentown Northeast Kiwanis Club and a board member of the Lehigh County Employee’s Federal Credit Union.

Lehigh County Coroner

(Vote for one)

Presently First Deputy Coroner under Scott Grim, who is stepping down, Eric Minnich has worked his way up from beginning as an EMT and paramedic to overseeing daily operations in the Coroner’s office. He has worked with several local school districts in Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) programs. He has also worked side by side with the staff at several major incidents, such as the recent car explosion in Allentown. He resides in Schnecksville with his wife and three girls.

Emmaus Borough Council

(Vote for four)

A 27-year resident of Emmaus, Teri Sorg McManamon has fostered trusted relationships throughout Emmaus via leadership roles. Currently on Borough Council, she believes in practical solutions reached in collaboration with residents and businesses. She supports appropriate economic development that ensures the Borough maintains its unique character as a safe, walkable, family-oriented community.

A life long Lehigh Valley native, Jim Kercher grew up in Macungie. He and his wife have been Emmaus residents for the last 9 years. He currently works as Regional Manager for a global logistics supply organization. He believes balancing the growth of Emmaus while maintaining its small-town feel is crucial. Also, he believes improved transparency and feedback when making decisions will benefit the residents of the borough.

Presently on Emmaus Borough Council, John Hart was appointed this year when a resignation created a vacancy. He is a retiree from LVHN where he was senior VP of Medical Operations and as well serves on the Emmaus Board of Health. He has two masters degrees, one from Notre Dame and a second from Kutztown. He believes the borough needs increased communication between Council and residents and favors innovative funding with local businesses to improve parks and playgrounds.

East Penn School District

(Allan, Josh and Bart are each running for a 4-year term. You may vote for five on the ballot.)

A Macungie resident, Allan Byrd was seated on the East Penn School Board last year to replace outgoing president Alan Earnshaw. He is a retiree from a career in engineering at Alcan, an aluminum manufacturing company. He praised public education and said he wants to push the East Penn community to keep innovating their high-achieving schools. He is running for a four-year term.

A chemical engineer and ESPD parent with two children in school, Josh Levinson of Zionsville, a Ph.D, was a himself a product of public schools. He has taught in the chemical engineering department at Lafayette College. He currently works for OEM Group, a semiconductor capital equipment manufacturer in Coopersburg. Serving as an appointee to the East Penn School Board since last year, Levinson believes that East Penn is overall a well-run school district and is proud to be able to contribute to this success. Levinson seeks to advocate for educational opportunities for students, for good governance within the District, and for efficient use of resources.  He is running for a four-year term.

Bart Bailey grew up in Pennsylvania, but has lived, worked and taught in Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. He began his professional career at Jersey Central Power, Eco Lab in Brooklyn/NY, Harley Davidson Motor Company in York/PA, Alcoa and PPL. He has an MBA in business management. Presently senior consultant for Cook Ross and unconscious bias expert at Courage to Care, he educates corporations and organizations on changing mindsets and defining constructive culture. He brings us valuable insights as BOTH an East Penn parent AND an international consultant. He is running for a four-year term.

Listen to Bart’s podcast on Unconscious Bias and Belonging

(Naomi is running for a two-year term. Vote for one.)

Being a parent at both the traditional and charter schools in the East Penn District allows Naomi Winch to bring a unique perspective to a district that prides itself on excellence in education. Her experiences give her the ability to be a liaison between residents and schools as well as support the need for education to evolve in order to prepare our children to become part of a global society. Hers is a two-year term.