Tarentum voters turn to Eric Carter to become the borough's next mayor
Tarentum Council President Eric Carter said it was time for a change, and it looks like borough residents agree with him.
The longtime councilman beat Mayor Carl J. Magnetta Jr. in the mayoral election, according to Allegheny County's unofficial election results.
Democrat Carter received 293 votes to Republican Magnetta's 240. There were two write-ins.
The mayor's position is a four-year term.
Asked why he believed he was victorious, Carter said, “The only thing I can (think of) is a lot of people just wanted a change. A lot of them kept saying that.”
Carter, 45, has been a councilman for at least 11 years.
He said he doesn't know what his first order of business as mayor will be, but a mayor's primary responsibility is overseeing the police department.
Carter said he wants to meet with Chief Bill Vakulick and the rest of the department to see what they feel is the most important.
“I've known Bill for a long time,” Carter said. “I can't wait to work side-by-side with him.”
Carter reiterated that he wants the police department to get more involved with code enforcement.
“It will show the residents that are concerned with the blight … that the police are involved 100 percent,” Carter said. “Tarentum's doing something. We are proceeding and working on that.”
Carter has run against Magnetta, 78, a few times before. He lost in the Democratic primaries in 2011 and 2013 but won the Democratic nomination against Magnetta in this year's primary.
Magnetta was able to stay in the race through Republican write-ins.
Carter said Magnetta is a big name in the borough. He didn't think he would win against him in the primary, let alone the general election.
Magnetta has been mayor since 2009. He was appointed to the position following the death of longtime Mayor James Wolfe, who was Carter's grandfather. He served on council for a total of 21 years.
Carter said he was “overwhelmed” by the outcome and is grateful to the voters.
“It seems to me that Tarentum wants some young, fresh blood in there,” he said. “I won't let them down.”