Venango County Republicans Oust Brooks from Courthouse as Breene, Dulaney Win Republican Nod

| May 22, 2019

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – In a surprising turn of events, Republican incumbent Venango County Commissioner Tim Brooks was ousted from office by Republican Primary voters on Tuesday.

Brooks, a County Commissioner for the past 11 years, finished third in the primary behind Sam Breene, an aide and campaign manager for U.S. Congressman Mike Kelly and Franklin City Council member Mike Dulaney.

Breene received the most votes with 2,902 (34.01 percent), while Dulaney was second with 1,833 (21.48 percent). Brooks, who is the chair of the Venango County Commissioners, came in third with 1,656 votes (19.40 percent).

The top two candidates move onto to the November General Election where they will face incumbent Democrat Albert “Chip” Abramovic and former Venango County Commissioner Bonnie Summers. As the only two Democrats on the ballot, Abramovic received 1,337 votes (48.32 percent) with Summers receiving 1,271 votes (45.93 percent).

The loss by Brooks means that at minimum two of the three Venango County Commissioners seats will be filled by different people in 2019. Incumbent Republican Vincent Witherup chose not to seek reelection.

The Republican primary was a crowded field with five people vying for two spots.

Darrell Karns finished in fourth with 1,162 votes (13.62 percent), and Joe Carulli II came in fifth with 900 votes (10.55 percent).

Breene, an Oil City resident, has worked for U.S. Congressman Mike Kelly in Butler as a Senior Legislative Aide, Legislative Director with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, and the Great Lakes Task Force and Director of Outreach. He was Kelly’s campaign manager in 2018 and is also a board member of Dougherty Breene International Inc. He is an elected Venango County Republican State Committeeman.

He ran on the fact that he considers himself a conservative Republican who uses “the guideposts” of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and personal responsibility to guide my actions and beliefs.”

Dulaney, a member of the Franklin City Council since 2017, is the Executive Assistant at the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce.

He ran on the idea of fostering businesses growth within the region and tackling issues within the county such as rapidly growing expenses.

Brooks touted the “new and exciting” projects that have started throughout Venango County during his tenure. He also pointed to his experience as being a positive to getting things done for the County, while also talking about operating the county in a “fiscally and ethically responsible manner.”

Karns, the owner of Karns Plumbing, Heating and HVAC in Franklin, said he wanted to bring “strength, dedication, and hard work” to the commissioners office.

Carulli, a Rocky Grove resident, a Pennsylvania State Constable, and co-owner and operator of Trey Carulli Lawncare and Landscaping with his son Trey, ran on the concern over the number of businesses that have closed in Venango County recently and the number of jobs lost.

Abramovic is seeking his second term as a county commissioner. He said that during his first term he has “worked hard to bring awareness to tough issues not commonly discussed, collaborated with the Agriculture Industry to help find ways to combat the struggles they are facing, brought awareness to drug epidemics, worked to find ways to help curb an overcrowding of county jails through re-entry and mental illness initiatives, worked hard to bring transparency to government and to hold the line on taxes, closely worked with local municipalities and other counties.”

Summers served one term as a commissioner from 2012-2016 but didn’t seek re-election in 2015. She is a retired administrator of the county’s mental health/mental retardation and substance abuse programs.

During her time as commissioner, she helped develop the county’s Land Bank program and continues to serve as chairman. While in office, she coordinated children and youth services with the court and developed support programs for children whose parents or guardians were in jail.

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