LEWISTOWN - In a stunning upset, a career prosecutor with 18 years of experience as the county's district attorney has lost to a grass-roots-supported challenger.
David Molek, a Republican who ran on the Democratic ticket for Mifflin County District Attorney, secured 4,500 votes, while incumbent Republican Steve Snook secured 3,608 votes, according to unofficial election results tabulated Tuesday.
Molek is an attorney who teaches law courses at South Hills School of Business and Technology and is the solicitor for the Mifflin County Sheriff's Department. Molek also serves on the Mifflin County School Board and won re-election to that position, according to unofficial election results. However, he is expected to resign from the school board.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Bonnie Zannino, right, and Jane Moerr carry election results from the 6th Ward of Lewistown into the Mifflin County Courthouse Tuesday night in Lewistown.
Molek supporters erupted with cheers when the candidate entered the Mifflin County Courthouse at around 10 p.m. and became apparent he would win the remaining two precincts that had not yet reported. Molek held his lead over Snook by roughly 10 percent of the vote as the individual precincts reported in.
Molek is a Republican who as he puts it, was "drafted" into the election by a political action committee, The Concerned Friends of Mifflin County, who felt it was time for a change in the district attorney's office. Molek won a write-in campaign during the May primary and accepted the Democratic nomination to appear on the ballot in the general election.
"I am truly proud and thankful that the voters put their faith me. I am especially thankful to those who wrote me in in the spring," Molek said. "I would like to give a special thanks to the Concerned Friends. The people said it was time for a change."
Snook said he was obviously disappointed with the results, but that he is looking forward to opening a new chapter in his life.
"I would like to thank all the people that supported me ... I'm proud that I ran this campaign without resorting to slinging mud or talking about a anything other than my abilities and my experience ... my take on it is that when you prosecute people for as long as I have certainly you are going to make some enemies on the other end of the table," Snook said.
Snook said he will truly miss serving as district attorney and will miss the people he has worked with over the years.
"I know I can look into the mirror and say I prosecuted every case no matter where it led ... I stayed true to myself," Snook said. "I'm gonna take some time off ... I'm gonna start weighing some options ... when God closes one door another one opens.
"I'm relieved that this election process is over and I look forward to something different in my life ... you bet I'll be trying cases somewhere," Snook said.
Molek is scheduled to take office in January.