Array of candidates file for county, municipal, school elections in Alle-Kiski Valley
By Liz Hayes and Brian C. Rittmeyer| Sunday, March 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Alle-Kiski Valley voters will be busy come May 21 when an array of local and county candidates will appear on the primary election ballot.
Tuesday was the deadline for candidates to file paperwork indicating they want to run for a county row office; for municipal positions such as mayor, council member, supervisor or tax collector; or for school board, among other offices.
Based on those submissions, there will be a slew of contested races in the Valley's portion of Armstrong, Butler and Westmoreland counties.
Allegheny County's elections bureau was not yet able to provide a comprehensive list of candidates.
There also are offices in which no candidates are running, including supervisor seats in Burrell, Cadogan, Gilpin and Manor townships and council seats in Applewold, Manorville and North Apollo.
Some races fielded candidates but not enough for all of the vacancies, including council seats in Applewold, Freeport, Hyde Park, Oklahoma and Vandergrift and the Apollo-Ridge and Burrell school boards.
Here's a summary of some notable local races:
As in 2011, six of the seven Apollo Council seats are up for election. Four carry four-year terms while two carry two-year terms.
The same four candidates, all incumbents, are running for all six seats: Dennis Gabrielli, Mark Greenawalt, David Heffernan and Cindee Virostek. Heffernan is running unopposed on the Republican ticket; Gabrielli, Greenawalt and Virostek are Democrats.
Republican Karen Kenzevich, a former councilwoman who was appointed mayor after the resignation of Rich Dixon, is unopposed for mayor.
In Leechburg, former Mayor Chuck Pascal is running for three offices: as a Democrat for mayor and council and cross-filed for Leechburg Area School Board.
For mayor, Pascal is running against Democratic Councilman Shawn Lerch; there are no Republican candidates. Incumbent Tony Roppolo is not on the ballot.
Republican Sheran Kupas is running for re-election as tax collector and also for council.
Other contested primary races include sheriff, Kittanning mayor and council, West Kittanning mayor, and supervisor in East Franklin, Kiski Township, North Buffalo and South Buffalo.
Most of the Alle-Kiski Valley portion of Butler County will be quiet during the primary election — except Saxonburg.
Two Republicans are seeking the party's nod to run against Mayor Jody Pflueger, a Democrat. Brian Antoszyk, who lost his re-election bid to Pflueger in 2009, and Councilwoman Pamela Bauman are running on the Republican ticket.
No Democrats are running against Pflueger.
There also is a Republican race for the four available council seats. Incumbents Donald Crawford and William Gillespie face challengers Mia Mazza-Petruzzi, Joshua Novotny and James Stanek.
Democratic council incumbent David Felsing has no primary challengers.
There is a contested race for Butler County Controller since Jack McMillin is retiring. Republicans Karen Diehl of Prospect and Ben Holland of Evans City are running for the seat. No Democrats are on the ballot.
Vandergrift is the only town in the Valley's portion of Westmoreland County that will have a mayoral race in the primary, but there are several contested council races.
Barbara Turiak will challenge Mayor Lou Purificato for the Democratic nod. There are no Republican candidates.
Vandergrift does not have a contested council race. In fact, only three candidates — Democrats Lenny Collini, Frank “Beans” Moliterno and Christine Wilson — are running for four available seats.
Seven East Vandergrift Democrats — Debra Lynn Kukalis, Ted Mustaikes, Susan Stanczak, Katy Tedeski, Lucille Yakulis, Christopher Zelonka and Dion Urban — are seeking four available council seats. Urban, who is cross-filed, is the only Republican council candidate. In New Kensington, Ron C. Balla, an employee of the city's water authority, is challenging Councilmen Todd Mentecki and John Regoli Jr. for the two Democratic nods. There are no Republican candidates.
And in Murrysville, five Republicans and no Democrats are vying for four available council seats.
Washington Township is the only local township with a race for supervisor: Al Pawlowski Jr. will seek the Republican nod over incumbent Joseph Olszewski
Burrell and Leechburg Area are the only local school districts in Armstrong, Butler and Westmoreland counties with no primary races.
At Apollo-Ridge, six candidates are cross-filed for four seats: incumbents Jim Ferguson, Richard Fetterman, Dominick Duso, Paul King and Daniel Obriot face challenger Aaron Broman. No one filed for the one available two-year seat. King and Broman both were applicants for a recent board vacancy, and King was appointed.
In Armstrong, Regions I and III have contested races. James Rearic and Douglas Smith are cross-filed for one seat in Region I, which includes Ford City and Manor Township. In Region III, which includes the northeastern portion of the county, there are four people cross-filed for two seats.
Eight candidates are cross-filed for Franklin Regional's four available board seats.
At Freeport Area, incumbents Christine Davies, Daniel Lucovich and Dr. John Marty face challenges from Charlie Greco and former board member William Gaiser. All five are cross-filed for four available seats.
Only Region I in Kiski Area includes a contested race: incumbents Daniel Anderson and Elizabeth Pollick Kovach face challenger Carly Opaska. All are cross-filed for the two seats. Incumbents Robert Keibler and Benjamin Silvestri do not face challengers in their regions.
In New Kensington-Arnold, only board President Bob Pallone, in Region I, does not face a challenger. In Region II, incumbent Liney Glenn faces Richard Boucher for the Democratic nod. Glenn did not cross file, so Boucher is unopposed for the Republican nod.
In Region III, incumbents Deb Glushenko and Pat Petit face Tonya Pryor-Norman and Laura Varner-Norman for the two seats. All four are cross-filed.
Six people are running for four available seats on South Butler County School Board. Incumbents Nelda Burd, Dale Fennell, Jim Jones and Richard Sefton face Bob Goodlin for the Democratic nod. All five also are running as Republicans, as is Rachelle Rankin, who did not cross-file as a Democrat.
Liz Hayes and Brian C. Rittmeyer are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Hayes can be reached at 724-226-4680 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Rittmeyer can be reached at 724-226-4701 or email@example.com.
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