The Kiski Township supervisor candidate at the center of a social media controversy appears to have cruised to victory and ousted three incumbents along the way.
The operative phrase, though, is “appears” to have done so.
Brittany Hilliard, 29, earned the most votes of four Republican candidates seeking two available positions on the ballot for the November general election for a six-year term.
Hilliard got 257 votes, or 23%, followed by Jeff Snyder, with 194 votes, according to unofficial results from the Armstrong County Elections Department.
The pair bested incumbents supervisors vice chairman Rich Frain and Mike Bash, who got 130 and 83 votes, respectively.
But there were actually more write-in votes cast than for any of the four candidates on the ballot for the six-year term — 287 votes.
Who received those votes has not been announced. It’s likely that more than one person received write-in votes. But when so many write-in votes are cast, it can be the result of a unified push for a particular person.
Those receiving write-in votes will be announced, and the results certified, in the coming weeks.
Hilliard has heard the names of three people believed to be seeking write-in votes. But she thinks that it’s likely that the write-in votes will be split among them enough as to not affect the outcome.
And it wasn’t just the race for the Republican nominations for the two six-year supervisors seats that drew a slew of write-ins.
There were an unusually high number of write-in votes cast for the Democratic Party nomination — where Ronald Baker supposedly was the only person running for one of the two open seats. Baker, naturally, won a nomination with 224 votes.
But there were 172 write-in votes cast there, too. Unless Baker got the majority of those write-ins, too, he’ll have a running mate in November against Hilliard and Snyder.
According to the county elections bureau, Hilliard also secured the Republican nomination for the four-year supervisor’s position.
She received 242 votes, handily beating incumbent Dylan Foster’s 147. There also were 120 write-ins cast.
If those unofficial results from election night hold, Hilliard will have had a hand in knocking all three incumbents off the board of supervisors.
Foster was unable to be reached for comment.
There were no Democrats on the ballot for the four-year seat, but someone will win the nomination, anyway: there were 104 write-in votes cast.
Hilliard will face that person in November — unless she got most of those write-ins.
Should she win both the six-year term and the four-year term, Hilliard can choose which one to accept. Next year’s board of township supervisors would then be tasked with appointing someone to fill the other seat.
She remains confident that she will win at least one of the two seats she won a nomination for.
“I feel great,” said Hilliard, who was targeted in recent weeks by people distributing packets with racy photos from her Only Fans, Twitter, and Tik Tok accounts.
Apollo police are investigating to find those responsible but have no suspects. The photo packets were given to several businesses in Apollo, Officer Ron Baustert said.
Kiski Township police Chief Lee Bartolicius said last week that his department is not aware of any Hilliard-related photos or literature being disseminated in the township. No updates were available from either department Wednesday.
Hilliard, a stay-at-home wife and mother with a degree in business finance, has lived in the township for two years. She spent Tuesday at the Orchard Hills fire hall polling site, talking with voters.
“A lot of people were angry that dirty politics occurred,” she said. “They’re angry that people went to such great lengths to discredit me, and they showed me empathy.”
Attempts to reach Frain and Bash were unsuccessful.
Hilliard became involved in local politics last year when four of the township’s six police officers, and a police secretary, resigned. At that time, Officer-in-Charge Thomas Dessell attributed the walkout to “harassment and intimidation brought on by township supervisors.”
“It’s great knowing that voters came out and voted for positive change,” Hilliard said.
“I’m proud, and it feels great as a woman to get the support from the community. I fought for transparency, and now I’ll be able to give that to the residents.”
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