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Endorsed McKeesport Area board candidates prevail

Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Endorsed McKeesport Area school board candidates Scott Smith, Patricia Maksin and Tom Maglicco gather at an election night reception at the Viking Restaurant and Lounge. They, as cross-filed candidates, earned Democratic and Republican nomination for school director.

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By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 4:06 a.m.

Endorsed candidate Scott Smith edged out former McKeesport Area school director David Donato in Tuesday's primary election — putting four endorsed candidates up against one Republican challenger in November.

According to complete but unofficial returns from Allegheny County Elections Division, the Democratic nod went to Tom Maglicco (2,244), Patricia A. Maksin (1,780), Trisha Gadson (1,591) and Smith (1,443).

Donato (1,413) trailed Smith by 30 votes, and there was a larger gap for first-time candidate Dennis Robinson (1,104).

In the general election, Maglicco, Maksin, Gadson and Smith will be on the Democratic side, with Patty Wells Gruber (355) on the Republican ticket in place of Gadson (300). Maglicco (454), Maksin (406) and Smith (391) will appear on the Republican side as cross-filed candidates.

“I wish the individuals who won an awful lot of luck,” Donato said. “They have a tough job ahead of them. There are very pressing problems in the school district, and somebody needs to go in there and find some solutions.

“It's incumbent upon this board to go in there and do what they need to do to straighten the ship out. I certainly hope that they're up to the task,” Donato said.

In his second candidacy for school board, Smith said he is up for the challenge of serving McKeesport Area residents.

“It's a very close race,” he said. “I can say that I'm very hopeful that what I see tonight holds true. I look forward, if this does come to fruition, to the next four years of dedicating enough time to the board to not only see continued scholastic improvement, but to see improvements for all residents of the McKeesport Area School District.”

Maglicco said he is grateful for voters who participated in Tuesday's primary.

“I'm very happy that, as it looks now, that the team we ran with has won the (nomination),” he said. “We pledge to continue to work as a team to keep making the McKeesport Area School District a better place.”

Maksin said the district has made positive strides.

“We're moving the district forward. We're not staying stagnant,” Maksin said. “We need to continue that, and I think with the candidates we have tonight, it's a giant step forward.”

With Gadson's total 1,891 votes up against Gruber's 355, supporters said the four endorsed candidates should come out on top of the general election.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or

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