Feb. 23—Lackawanna County Register of Wills Frances Kovaleski will seek a third four-year term in the job.
Kovaleski, 72, a Democrat and Scranton resident, said she will run on a record of modernizing the office to improve online access to its documents, including marriage licenses and estates.
"My goal is to provide Lackawanna County taxpayers with exemplary service and efficiency that I have been providing for decades," she said in a statement announcing her candidacy. "My office sees our taxpayers at some of the most difficult times in their lives. We navigate them through the legal process and do so with respect and compassion. I have dedicated decades to Lackawanna County's taxpayers and it would be my honor to continue to do so."
The office also handles matters related to adoptions and guardianships as well as processing about $15 million a year in inheritance tax revenues, according to Kovaleski's relection campaign announcement.
Kovaleski worked in the office for 18 years for the previous register of wills, Linda Munley, before winning election for the first time in 2013. Voters reelected her in 2017.
She serves as chairwoman of the board of Goodwill Industries of Northeastern Pennsylvania. She is a founding member of the Society of Irish Women, a past president of St. Joseph's Center Auxiliary and a member and past executive board member of the Lackawanna County Federation of Democratic Women.
A mother of three sons and grandmother to nine grandsons, Kovaleski has been married to her husband, Ken, for 50 years.
The register of wills salary this year is $73,574, with $2,000 of that because the job includes serving as clerk of orphans court. The base salary is set to rise 4% in 2022 and 2023.
Kovaleski is the first person to formally announce a candidacy for the job.
Lackawanna County Republican Party Chairman Lance Stange Jr. said the party is actively recruiting candidates for register of wills and all other offices in the county. He encouraged interested people to visit www.lackawannagop.com/run and complete a candidate survey or call the party at 570-346-7729.
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