Write-in may have knocked off Molnar in Springdale
Springdale voters apparently took out their frustration over the borough's scandal-ridden police department Tuesday on mayoral candidate and current Councilman John Molnar.
Despite being the only name on the ballot for mayor, it apMolnar may have lost to Ken Lloyd, chairman of Springdale's Democratic Party.
Lloyd, who has never held elected office, ran a late write-in campaign and may have pulled off a major upset, according to unofficial election results.
Molnar, a former mayor now serving on council, received about 48 percent of the vote. Write-in votes totaled about 52 percent, according to unofficial Allegheny County election results.
Lloyd said according to his tabulation, he defeated Molnar with a vote of 262 to 241.
He said the police department problems — one former officer is awaiting sentencing in federal court and another is resigning after being caught having sex with a woman in his patrol car while on duty — spurred his write-in effort.
“We have to turn our community around,” Lloyd said Tuesday night. “And it starts with our police department and our new chief.”
Molnar said his count also favors Lloyd by about the same tally; however, he is conceding nothing.
Molnar said he intends to challenge and verify the results, which do not include absentee ballots.
“I will explore all avenues,” Molnar said. “I have a lot of questions and no answers.”
A lifelong Democrat, Molnar said he was disappointed that Lloyd ran against him.
“It's hard to believe the Democratic chairman wouldn't support a Democrat,” Molnar said. “I think he should resign immediately as chairman of the Democratic Party.”
Current Mayor Eileen Miller said she did not seek re-election in part because the stress of the job was hurting her health. She told those disappointed that she was not running to instead vote for Lloyd.
“I wanted Mr. Lloyd to be mayor. It wasn't against someone,” she said. “I thought he could do a good job. We're headed in the right direction. This is good for everybody.”
Lloyd said he spent a day with the borough's new police chief, Julio F. Medeiros III, and was inspired to run for mayor.
He said he mounted his campaign, which included telephone calls, in four to five days.
“The first thing I want to do is support the police chief,” Lloyd said. “My main goal is to stop the political interference with the police chief doing his job.”
Lloyd said he wants everyone in the borough to know that Miller “is a great woman and was not treated properly.”
“She was not treated with any kind of respect and I'm a little embarrassed about it, the way some men treat women in politics,” he said. “Women should be revered in politics. We need more women in politics. We need more women to run for office, is what I'm saying.”
Cleaning up Springdale and its police department transcends party affiliations, Lloyd said.
“I love my community and I love the people who live here. That's why I live here,” he said. “I just couldn't see this go downhill anymore with the police department being in the newspaper every other week.
“It's OK to be a Republican. It's OK to be a Democrat. It's OK to be Independent.
“You have to compromise and do the right thing for the community.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.