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More than one winner in highway primaries

Meredith, Hyer, Ritz make tracks to general, while Zeoli out of running

Terry Ritz and his son along Delaware Avenue on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Terry Ritz and his son along Delaware Avenue on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— Three winners have emerged from the primary election for Bethlehem Superintendent of Highways.

Voting took place from noon to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Poll workers said voting was generally slow throughout the day and dropped off steadily after 7 p.m.

In the Democratic race, Brent Meredith handily won his challenge against nominee Frank Zeoli, 1,418 - 659. Meredith had the backing of Town Supervisor John Clarkson, and said after the race he felt his campaign’s message was what resonated with town Democrats.

“I think Frank ran a great campaign, and I just told him so on the phone, but I think our message got out that we need a qualified person in this position,” Meredith said.

The Democratic candidate said his campaign has begun talking about minor tweaks they will be making before heading to the Nov. 5 general election. Meredith said he also plans to speak more in-depth with Highway Department employees.

In the Republican primary, current highway manager Howard Hyer beat town Assistant Engineer and GOP nominee Terry Ritz, 478 - 337. Hyer thanked Republicans for coming out to vote and said he believes his experience helped him win.

“I’m happy with the results,” he said. “I worked really hard and talked with a lot of Republicans … I think they understand I was someone with experience and years in the department and it was successful for me.”

Hyer said he would take a few days off before beginning to regroup for the general election, but said he is ready to take over the job come 2014.

“I have the experience, I know the guys and I know how to handle the budget,” he said.

Ritz said he was frustrated that only 13 percent of the town’s enrolled Republicans turned out.

“It was a lot of work for little return,” he said. “Luckily, anyone can vote in the General Election, not just those enrolled in a certain political party.”

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