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Freeport write-in winners prepare to take office

| Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Two Freeport men with nine write-in votes between them are set to be sworn in as the newest Freeport Borough council members.

Sean McCalmont and Rich “Ricki” Hastings filed the paperwork necessary to be declared winners by the Armstrong County Election Bureau.

Neither campaigned for the office.

“I attend the meetings, and a couple people know I do that,” said Hastings, 32. “I was excited, I was glad to have it happen. I'm glad to serve the community in this way.”

Hastings is a salon manager for Philip Pelusi Salons and has lived in Freeport for about three years. He has not served in elective office before.

McCalmont, 48, said he had been considering running for Freeport mayor until he learned that Mayor James Swartz Jr. was running for re-election.

“Then people said I should run for council, but I had a bad experience and wasn't sure I wanted to get back into politics,” he said.

McCalmont previously lived in Springdale, where he served on council for about three years. He resigned from the post in May 2009 when an Allegheny County judge removed his name from the primary ballot. Although McCalmont owned two homes in Springdale, the judge ruled McCalmont's primary residence was in Freeport.

“I let the good Lord figure it all out for me,” McCalmont said. “I believe we're called to serve, and this is an opportunity to serve my community.”

Freeport was among seven municipalities in the Alle-Kiski Valley portion of Armstrong County that had fewer candidates than open council or supervisor positions.

Freeport Councilmen Don Rehner and Tim Adams were re-elected in November.

All four will be sworn in on Jan. 6.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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