Ross Swords unofficially secured the Democratic nomination for Brownsville mayor Tuesday, besting two other contenders in the race.
The unofficial tally from Tuesday’s primary election showed Swords with a narrow seven-vote advantage over runner-up James “Jim” Lawver.
Bruce Wells placed third unofficially with 14 votes. But Swords’s 138 votes gave him the unofficial edge over Lawver’s 131. Swords, a Brownsville councilman, attributed his apparent Democratic nomination to a robust door-to-door campaigning effort.
“I introduced myself and got the people’s opinion on what they’d like to see change in the borough,” Swords said. “I think that really helped me.”
The winner of the Brownsville mayoral race in November’s general election will succeed two-term incumbent
Lester Ward, who did not file for reelection.
Swords, 33, is in his fifth year on council. Swords is the borough’s public safety chairman and has served as a Pennsylvania State Constable for 12 years, also volunteering as a firefighter at Brownsville Fire Company No. 1.
Lawver, 57, previously ran for mayor in 2013, then losing to Ward in both the Democratic primary and the general election.
Wells, 66, said he has held several posts in the private sector, including special education teacher, job developer and stockbroker.
While the mayor only votes to break a tie, a mayor oversees the borough’s police department.
Swords said residents had told him they’d like to see more of a police presence in the borough and complained that they know police are unavailable at certain times. Swords said if elected mayor, he’d like to work to make borough police schedules less predictable.
No candidates filed to run in the Brownsville mayoral race on the Republican ballot.
“I just want to thank the residents,” Swords said. “Even with the small margin, I believe Brownsville has spoken.”