UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State alumni spoke with the ballots in the university’s heated board of trustees race, as three reform candidates endorsed by a grassroots alumni group and the family of late coach Joe Paterno unseated the incumbents in a landslide.
Challengers Barbara Doran, William “Bill” Oldsey and Edward “Ted” Brown easily defeated the rest of the field of 39 candidates, which included the incumbents Paul Suhey and Stephanie Deviney and a former state senator, Robert Jubelirer. The third seat belonged to Steve Garban, who resigned from the board last summer. His seat was never filled.
Doran received 15,085 votes, Oldsey got 13,940 and Brown got 11,403. The next closest was Suhey, who had 4,521 votes.
“The alumni sent a very clear message,” said trustee Anthony Lubrano, who won election a year ago on a platform critical of the board’s decisions in the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. “It wasn’t just that we replaced the incumbents, but we did it with force.
“I do hope that folks here have taken notice.”
A couple dozen supporters with the group Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, PS4RS, cheered as the election results were announced on Friday at the board’s meeting on campus. The group’s membership endorsed the candidates before the voting started April 10.
The winners said the election results, released Friday, point to the power and reach of the PS4RS group, whose members have made it their mission to unseat all the trustees who were on board when the Sandusky scandal erupted in November 2011. For this election, the group paid for newspaper ads and billboards railing against Suhey and Deviney.
The field featured 39 candidates, some of whom ran unsuccessfully in last year’s race. This year’s field also included Jubelirer, who was endorsed by trustee Anthony Lubrano.
The trustees-elect will take office effective July 1.
Suhey, who played football for Penn State under Paterno, offered a statement.
“It has been an honor to serve on the Penn State University board for 15 years,” Suhey said. “I am proud of my service and I am proud of this board.”
He added: “I want to offer my congratulations to the newly elected alumni trustees. I know they will be as proud as I was to represent the best and largest alumni association in the world.”