Barton plans a write-in campaign

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:47

    FRANKLIN — Councilman Pat Barton, narrowly defeated in the borough’s GOP primary June 2, has announced he will try to retain his seat by running as a write-in candidate on Election Day, Nov. 3. Barton is seen by many as the council’s most outspoken member. His decision to run as a write-in, he said, was fueled by the fact that many residents approached him and asked him to try again. “I have a lot of support and I have a lot of people who have called me and are willing to help,” he said. Barton, a construction manager, is this year’s council president. “I received a lot of calls and the only chance I have of winning now as a write-in is for the people who called me to do what they said they would do, which is to come out and vote for me.” In the recent primary, Barton lost by just four votes — 235-231 — to former borough police sergeant Thomas Kulsar, while incumbent, Gilbert Snyder was first with 329. Two seats will become vacant in November and Snyder and Kulsar will be listed on the Republican side of the ballot come Election Day. No Democrats filed to run in the primary, so none will be on the ballot in the fall. Not easy. Write-in candidates face some stringent standards. For every vote to count, the candidate’s name must be spelled correctly and consistently. Any deviation in spelling can be construed as a vote for some other candidate. “We always tell them (write-in candidates) to write exactly what it (name) is on their placards,” explained borough clerk Pat Leasure. But Barton said he’s up to the challenge. “As difficult as that is to run that way, I feel Franklin is at a critical time right now.” Though he’s only been a council member since 2006, Barton said he believes his personal experience suits him to dealing with the issues facing Franklin. “I’ve been dealing with the DEP for 20 years, so I feel I have the most experience in our town to know the ins and outs. And we need someone who will buck the system. And let’s face it, no matter who comes in new on the council, there’s a learning curve, and we can’t afford that right now. We need to stop Trenton from micromanaging our town and our county.” When asked how he would try to launch a successful effort against a perceived over-regulating state bureaucracy, Barton replied, “Revolution. We have to get other towns involved with us. It is so blatantly obvious and everybody’s talking about it but no one is doing anything about it.”