Carbon Democrats


Carbon Democrats Elect New Chairman

William O’Gurek Jr., second from left, is the new chairman of the Democratic Party of Carbon County. Other officers are, from left, Linda Rex, secretary, Judy Moon, vice chairwoman, and William O’Gurek Sr., treasurer.

Consistent with the bylaws of the Democratic party of Carbon County, committeemen and committeewomen who were elected in the May Primary Election gathered on the first Saturday in June to elect a chairman, vice chairperson and treasurer.
Longtime chairman Frank Jacobs of Nesquehoning, who had tendered his resignation earlier but agreed to remain in the position until a new chair was elected, was recognized for his 12 years of service. More than 80 persons attended the event at the Inn of Jim Thorpe.
William O’Gurek Jr. of Summit Hill was elected to succeed Jacobs. Judy Moon of Nesquehoning was elected vice chairwoman and William O’Gurek Sr., also of Summit Hill, was retained as treasurer. New chairman O’Gurek appointed Linda Rex, Mahoning Township, to continue in the capacity of secretary.
Following his election, O’Gurek Jr. offered the following comments:
“Thank you to the committeemen and committeewomen for your support. Thanks to the members of the executive committee who have the confidence in me to succeed a man like Frank Jacobs, who spent 12 years as county chair.”
“Our party is better off because of all of Frank’s efforts.”
“About two years ago, when Frank stepped aside because of health problems, vice chair Rose Walck filled in and did a great job. But when it came time to replace Frank permanently, party leaders turned back to…Frank Jacobs. He’s going to be difficult to replace, but I feel I am up for the job.”
“Being here today is a little surreal for me. If you know me, you know that a day like today was something I strived for. But to achieve it as a 26-27 year old, it’s humbling.”
“Conventional wisdom says it’s not a good time to be a Democrat. Usually, the party in power at the White House loses congressional seats in mid-term elections. The nation is being swept up by the Tea Party. Locally, our opponent, the Carbon GOP, feels invigorated. They are going to come strong after Justin Yaich, and their commissioner candidates for next year are already running around the county. It is going to take work, but I feel as if we have a strong ticket, locally and statewide, that puts us in a good position to succeed.”
“When thinking about what to say today, I kept coming back to two things, one each said by our candidates for the State Senate. I was away on election day, and when I got home, I was reading some newspaper articles on the race. I was reading the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader and read where our nominee, John Yudichak, said of his opponent, Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, “He was my opponent, not my enemy.”
“What a great way of looking at it. Coming off a bitter primary election that saw friends against friends, it is something we can look at. We will only be successful in November if we come together, if we work as one.”
“Nobody likes primaries. Odds are both candidates are ideologically alike, sharing the same views. This leads to more personal attacks and eventually hard feelings. The key is to put those differences behind us as we move on to November and the General Election.”
“The other thing I kept coming back to was something Mayor Leighton would mention on the campaign trail. A lot of people here are probably aware of the affinity my father and I have for Tom Leighton. He has done a miraculous job in Wilkes-Barre. Things didn’t go his way in May, and that’s alright. We have a good candidate in John Yudichak and he’ll be a good senator for us in the 14th District. But when talking about the revitalization of Wilkes-Barre, Mayor Leighton often said it wasn’t the work of one man. It didn’t start when he was elected mayor. It took a collective effort fro a lot of different partners, council, business organizations, etc. They all came together for the betterment of the city. The result is a new city, compared to the place I spent four years as a college student.”
“It’s similar to our situation here. Being successful in November isn’t the work of one man. Frank Jacobs can tell you that. It’s going to take a team effort. From our executive committee members, to committee men and women, to our local clubs, everyone has to be involved. And if we can come together, work together, we’ll continue electing Democrats in Carbon County. Thank you for your support. I look forward to working with all of you in the future.”