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According to the Elk County Bureau of Elections and Voter Registration, Stephen P. Skrzypek of Kersey has withdrawn from the race for Magisterial District Justice 59-3-03. Skrzypek withdrew his candidacy on July 5, according to the elections bureau.
In the primary election held May 17, Skrzypek won the Democratic nomination and was set to face Republican primary ballot winner Mark S. Jacob of St. Marys in the Nov. 8 general election. Both candidates cross-filed on the ballots.
Kim Frey, director of the Elk County Bureau of Elections and Voter Registration, said three scenarios are now possible: The Elk County Democratic Party's executive committee could name as a substitute candidate for Skrzypek a registered Democrat who was not on the primary ballot; could name no one, which would leave Jacob unopposed in the general election; or could name Jacob himself as the Democratic nominee for district justice. Jacob came in second behind Skrzypek on the Democratic primary ballot.
The reason Jacob can be chosen as the Democratic candidate is that he is a registered Democrat and was on the primary ballot. This is unusual in that it is only an option in races for magisterial district justice, school board and traffic court judge races in Pennsylvania; elections for other positions do not allow the naming of a replacement candidate who has already lost on the primary ballot.
District justice candidates Brian E. Kraus, Robert "Bert" Sorg and Joseph T. Fleming, who also cross-filed for both the Republican and Democratic nominations, are not eligible to be named as a replacement candidate for Skrzypek because they are registered as Republicans.
Bob Roberts, chair of the Elk County Democratic Party, said the party would have an executive committee meeting to discuss the situation and make a recommendation as to the course of action they will take. That meeting is expected to take place sometime next week.
At press time, Skrzypek could not be reached for comment on why he withdrew from the race.