Penn State alumni voting strong again in 2013

mdawson@centredaily.comMay 2, 2013 

— Almost 33,000 Penn State alumni have voted so far in the university’s board of trustees election, which ends Thursday morning.

The university said that by the close of business on Wednesday, 32,986 alumni had cast ballots in the race that features 39 candidates vying for just three seats. Penn State spokesman David La Torre said all alumni requests for a ballot had been fulfilled.

With just hours before the election was to close, the turnout for this year’s race falls short of the record showing last year, when more than 37,000 alumni voted. La Torre said the turnout so far this year is the second-strongest showing in trustee election history.

The incumbents are Paul Suhey and Stephanie Deviney. The third seat belonged to Steve Garban, but it was never filled after he resigned from the board in July in the wake of the Freeh report’s findings.

Voting will close at 9 a.m. Thursday, and the results will be announced Friday at the board meeting.

Two separate trustee elections will take place Friday.

Delegates from the state’s agricultural societies will vote for two trustees to represent them from a field of three: incumbent Keith Eckel, a Lackawanna County farmer; M. Abraham Harpster, a Huntingdon County farmer and university alumnus; and Paul Semmel, a former state representative from Lehigh County who is also an alumnus.

Trustee Samuel Hayes is not seeking re-election from the agricultural societies.

Two candidates to represent business and industry interests will be put forward on Friday, too. The incumbents are Karen Peetz, who will continue on the board, and John Surma, who has said he will not seek re-appointment.

The list of candidates will be presented to the board Friday, La Torre said.

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