Four in race to fill seat vacated by Sen. John Blake in 22nd District

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) —  It’s more than primary election day in three local counties. A special election is being held to fill a vacant state senate seat.

The Pennsylvania State Senate 22nd District seat became vacant when John Blake resigned in March to work for Congressman Matt Cartwright. Four candidates are vying to fill that vacancy.

One of them is no stranger to Harrisburg. Democrat Marty Flynn is the 113th state representative serving in the state house since 2013. Flynn voted this morning in his native Scranton.

On the republican side, candidate Chris Chermak has been serving as Lackawanna county commissioner since last year and now wants to serve in the state senate.

His campaign came out swinging against Flynn, calling the Democrat a fraud while Flynn’s campaign countered by claiming Chermak lied about raising taxes.

But it’s the green party candidate who picked up the endorsement of the Scranton Times-Tribune. That’s Marlene Sebastianelli who greeted voters this morning in Peckville.

The political newcomer owns a local winery and is a health care industry consultant. She’s gone on the record as opposing the expansion of keystone sanitary landfill and that holds weight with one voter we spoke to.

“She was the only one who came out against the dump and the dump is a big deal for me. I mean, how big are they going to make that mountain,” said Joel Hoffman, a voter from Scranton.

“I prefer a Republican-controlled Senate, Governorship, local,” said Mark Holmes, a voter from Scranton.

Voters could also choose a fourth candidate, libertarian Nathan Covington. Tonight’s winner will fill out the remainder of former Senator Blake’s term through November 2022.

Pennsylvania State Senate 22nd District is comprised of all of Lackawanna County, four communities in Luzerne County and three in Monroe county.

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