AP NEWS

New Challenger In W-B Council Race

February 20, 2019
New Challenger In W-B Council Race

WILKES-BARRE — A second challenger has entered the race to represent District C on city council. Linda Rowe has announced her candidacy for the council post currently held by incumbent candidate Beth Gilbert. Jeff Thomas is also vying for the Democratic nomination to the ballot in the primary election. A city resident for more than 26 years, Rowe is described in her campaign announcement as a community advocate and volunteer characterized by her commitment to groups like the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, Women in Business Co-chair; Riverfront Parks Committee, board member; Leadership Wilkes-Barre, Advisory Committee; the Women with Children Program at Misericordia University, advisory board member; and an art guide at the Sordoni Gallery at Wilkes University. She may also be recognized for her photography, which showcases the region’s natural areas and points of interest, most notably in Wilkes-Barre. Rowe’s campaign said she is driven to represent her district in a meaningful way and would tackle issues important to residents including the safety, cleanliness and appearance of streets, parks, business centers and neighborhoods, addressing trash, recycling and storm drain systems. Rowe also pledged to work with various city departments to effectively and efficiently use tax dollars without further burdening residents; create and or enforce ordinances designed to hold landlords and tenants accountable for the safety and stability of neighborhoods, and ask for partnership from residents “to regain an optimism when thinking about their home.” Rowe has been employed with Geisinger Health Plan for more than 17 years, currently as an account executive, specializing in client services. She earned her bachelor’s degree as an adult student at King’s College, with a degree in leadership and global dynamics. Rowe resides with her husband, Michael, in the Iron Triangle section of the city, where they raised two children, both of whom are graduates of GAR High School. The only other contested council race in the city to date is for Councilman Mike Merritt’s seat representing District E. Jessica McClay and Tony Thomas have announced their plans to run as Democratic candidates for the post. Councilmen Mike Belusko, Tony Brooks and Bill Barrett have announced their intents to seek re-election in districts A, B and D, respectively. Wilkes-Barre council members are paid $13,199 per year, except for the chairperson, who is paid $14,699. All five council seats will be on the ballot this year. Contact the writer: smocarsky@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2110, @MocarskyCV