Ackerman, Pristash seek seat
Richard Ackerman and Anthony "Tony" Pristash, two names familiar to Northampton residents, will vie for the nomination for the second ward borough council seat, despite the fact neither of their names are not on the ballot.
The unusual scenario, believed to be the first in local politics, arose when neither Ackerman or Pristash – or anyone else in the second ward – filed a nominating petition with the Northampton County Voter Registration Office. A candidate is required to have signatures of 10 registered voters from his or her political party.
Ackerman, 75, a Democrat, and Pristash, 54, a Republican, are both write-in candidates seeking the second ward nomination on both the Democrat and Republican tickets during Tuesday's primary. Unless one of the two men nails down both party nominations, Ackerman and Pristash could face off in the November general election for the second ward council seat.
The borough is divided into four wards, with each ward having two council members. Council President John Yurish is the other second ward representative on council.
Ackerman is a member of the borough's zoning hearing board and civil service commission. He served on borough council for 16 years in the 1980s and 1990s. A businessman, Ackerman's commercial interests have included Ackerman's Corner at 21st and Center streets where a hot dog shop and Laundromat and other commercial entities are located. He later pursued another commercial enterprise in the same area. He is also involved in advertising materials.
He and his wife, Judith, have four children, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
"We need dedicated council members," Ackerman said.
Pristash has served on borough council since last year when he was appointed following the resignation of Sherry Maikits. Pristash is president of the Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Board of Governors of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
He is the owner and operator of All Things Framed on Main Street. He is also president of the Northampton Memorial Community Center Board and was active with the borough centennial committee. Pristash is also the business manager of the Queenship of Mary Catholic Church.
"My business experience and involvement in the community qualifies me to serve on council," Pristash said.
He mentioned his civic and community experiences and interests are helpful to the community and his serving as a member of the Northampton County Casino & Economic Board benefits the borough.