Fall election picture comes into focus
The fall election picture is falling into place with races created in some places and positions assured in others, based on complete but unofficial returns available on Friday.
• Clairton Mayor Richard Lattanzi was all but assured re-election, with 107 Republican write-ins to 17 for Councilman Richard Ford III and 10 for former recreation director Kenneth Barna.
Of four candidates who ran for the Democratic nod on May 21, only Councilman Terry Lee Julian failed to get enough write-ins for his results to be included in either the mayor's contest or for another term in Ward 3, where legal secretary Lee Lasich capped a primary sweep with 25 GOP write-ins.
Preliminary results issued this week showed Lasich with 242 votes to 110 for Julian in the Democratic primary.
Ford also ran for another term on council in Ward 2, winning the Democratic nod while only two GOP write-ins were cast.
While in other area third-class cities a write-in candidate needed 100 votes, and no one attained that in McKeesport or Duquesne, election officials said Clairton is deemed too small and only 10 were needed to get recognition in the write-in count.
• Clairton and Liberty were two municipalities where candidates were challenged in county and state courts. In Clairton Lattanzi was unsuccessful in bumping Ford despite appeals to Commonwealth and Supreme courts.
In Liberty, incumbent Councilman S. Larry Sikorski was removed by Commonwealth Court after Democratic primary foe Mark A. Suckfiel challenged Allegheny County Judge Joseph M. James' refusal to remove Sikorski for not properly filing a statement of financial interest.
Sikorski ran as a write-in and won the nomination in both primaries, passing both Suckfiel and Patrick J. Fisher in the Democratic contest and outdistancing all foes in the Republican.
On the Democratic side for four council seats, it was newcomers Christopher D. Gretz with 177 and Jennifer A. Riley with 174, then Sikorski's 168 write-ins, Suckfiel with 156 and Fisher 151.
On the Republican side, Sikorski netted 66 write-ins, followed by Suckfiel (18), Riley (14), Gretz (14) and Fisher (11).
Councilwoman M. Jane Weigand likely will succeed retiring Mayor Edward Slater, getting 19 GOP write-ins after being unopposed in the Democratic primary.
• Up the road in Glassport there appears to be a five-way race for council this fall.
Elaina Skiba is on both party slates, tying Blaise Wojton with 22 GOP write-ins after winning the Democratic nod along with Paul J. Trunzo and Eugene S. Skerkoski.
Mayor Mitch Evanovich also won a GOP nod for council with 15 write-ins.
On the other hand, the Democrats' nominee to succeed Evanovich also won the GOP nod. Rosemary Bradley topped her primary foe and former Mayor Terry DiMarco, 34-13. Incumbent Jennifer Pasinski Bell added 26 GOP write-in votes to her Democratic nod for tax collector.
• The write-in count verifies election night reports that incumbent Art Marra would take the GOP nod in the bitter Ward 6 commissioner's race in North Versailles Township .
Marra had 14 write-ins to Democratic nominee Vince Paradine's 13 and also-ran Judy Slater's 11. The fourth Democrat in Ward 6, former commissioner Kash Snyder, did not get enough write-ins for the county's count, but he and Slater reportedly are mulling fall write-in runs.
For commissioner in Ward 2, Joseph Kutch netted 12 GOP write-ins, setting up a rematch with Democratic incumbent Daryl Mitchell.
In Ward 4, however, incumbent Samuel Juliano added a narrow GOP win, 18-12, to his Democratic victory over Norman Stitt, and for tax collector incumbent Democrat Mary Ann Fetsick added the GOP nod with 15 write-ins.
• In Allegheny County, preliminary results were issued this week that tightened some races but did not change any ballot placings.
In McKeesport , incumbent V. Fawn Walker-Montgomery's edge over LaRosa Boys & Girls Club director James T. Barry Jr. shrank from four votes on May 21 to three, in the seven-way race for three Democratic council nods.
Teacher Jamie Brewster-Filotei netted 1,193 votes to 982 for incumbent Alfred J. Tedesco Jr., 826 for Walker-Montgomery and 823 for Barry, up from 822 on May 21.
Other tallies are LaWana Simmons (733), Patrick Chiaverini (561) and Arla Payne-Stinson (423).
The preliminary results will become official on Monday, except for any where petitions for recanvass, recount or contest are filed with the county Court of Common Pleas.
The deadline for petitioning the court to contest a nomination is Monday.
In Westmoreland County the election board tentatively is scheduled to certify write-in results on June 18, while Allegheny County's election board will meet July 12.
• In the Norwin area, mayors Daniel Rose of Irwin and James Douglas of North Irwin appear to be unopposed in the fall. Rose added 13 GOP write-ins to his Democratic nod, while pending accumulation — counting all the ways his name was written in — Douglas can add 10 Democrat write-ins to his GOP nod.
Also in North Irwin, Republican Maureen LaVerde will be the only name on the fall ballot for tax collector, while for four four-year seats on council Mike Schade will be on both slates with 17 Democratic and 13 Republican write-ins and incumbent John McIntyre received 14 Democratic write-ins. No one was written in for a two-year seat.
In Irwin no one was written in for a fourth GOP council nod, while on the Democratic side GOP incumbents John Cassandro (21 write-ins), Peggie Watson (18) and Gail Macioce (17) join incumbent Phyllis Thiem in the fall.
• In North Huntingdon Township , incumbent Richard Gray added 61 Democratic write-ins to his GOP nod for commissioner in Ward 4, and tax collector Shelley R. Buchanan added a GOP nod with 20 write-ins to her Democratic renomination.
No GOP candidate emerged to challenge former commissioner Thomas G. Krause, who was unopposed for the Democratic nod to return to the seat he once held in Ward 6.
• South Versailles Township had no one on the primary ballot.
Judith Canning received 10 Republican write-ins for tax collector while three incumbents were written in for new terms as commissioner. John Warabak netted 23 Democratic votes, Ed Kulasa Jr. 19 Democratic votes and Bill Haywood 19 Democratic and 10 Republican votes.
Elsewhere in Allegheny County:
• In Dravosburg Councilwoman Michele Vezzani capped her run for mayor with a 24-8 Republican write-in win over incumbent John Powell. In the Democratic primary she defeated Powell, 160-105.
There apparently will be a fall contest for council. Retired postmaster John Palcsey was tied with incumbent Jay McKelvey for second-place in the GOP write-in contest, with 13 each to 20 for incumbent William Snodgrass.
Edged out by GOP voters was incumbent Barbara J. Stevenson. She had 11 write-ins. On the Democratic ballot it was Snodgrass with 166, Stevenson and McKelvey tied with 164 and Palcsey the odd man out in the chase for three nominations.
Tax collector Charles Gross unofficially received 10 of 14 GOP write-in votes for his job. He was unopposed on the Democratic ballot.
• In Elizabeth, newcomer Devie Rollins netted 41 write-ins to fill the final Democratic slot for borough council, joining Chad Rager, V. Ann Malady and Charles Smith Jr.
Rollins topped write-in efforts by the four GOP nominees, Robin Miller (24), Paula Stevens (18), Larry Duvall (13) and Winona Dobrich (10).
On the Republican side, there were as many write-ins for mayor, 37, as the number of votes netted by David G. Householder on May 21. But no one received even the 10 votes needed to be acknowledged by election officials, so Householder keeps the GOP nod against Malady, who is the Democratic mayoral nominee.
The GOP apparently nominated Mike Glowinski to take on Democrat Robin Schmidt for tax collector. Unofficially Glowinski, husband of council president Monica Douglas Glowinski, had 10 of 19 GOP write-ins.
• While a lot of people spelled it “Saon,” the county is counting 26 Democratic votes for Paul Saxon in addition to his GOP nod for commissioner in Elizabeth Township Ward 2.
In Ward 4, incumbent Joanne Beckowitz has no fall opposition, as she adds to her Democratic nod the GOP nomination with 71 write-ins to Heather Marie Fox-Sutek, who was on that party's ballot.
In Ward 6, Elizabeth Forward school director Robert E. Rhoderick Jr. is unopposed for commissioner, adding 17 GOP write-ins to a Democratic win over challenger Margaret Morgan.
• For supervisor in Forward Township , incumbent David Magiske added the GOP nod with 30 votes to 10 for his Democratic primary foe Richard E. Dell Jr.
For tax collector, incumbent Democrat Christine Marie Loughner has a fall foe, newcomer Bill Firczak, who had 12 GOP write-ins.
• For council in Jefferson Hills, Republican incumbent David T. Montgomery, Democratic incumbents Christopher King and Vickie Lynn Ielase and newcomer Melissa Barclay will be unopposed in November.
On the Democratic side, King and Ielase were unopposed May 21, while Montgomery had 95 write-ins and Barclay 78. On the GOP side, Montgomery was unopposed, Barclay netted 108 write-ins, King 83 and Ielase 62.
Councilwoman Janice Cmar added 182 GOP write-ins for mayor to her unopposed Democratic bid to succeed retiring Michael Green. For tax collector, incumbent Josephine Lipnicky added a GOP nod with 119 write-ins to her unopposed Democratic bid.
• In Lincoln, no Republican was written in for council, but for tax collector Loretta Perozich added the GOP nod with 18 write-ins after defeating Gregory B. Jageman for the nod in the Democratic primary. For mayor, James J. Beisler added the GOP nod by 16-13 to his 56-49 Democratic win over Martin J. Kvasnak.
• For four seats on council in Munhall , businessman and Democratic front-runner Richard Brennan was the top GOP vote-getter with 36, while incumbent and Democratic fourth-placer Harvey Inglis had 17 GOP write-ins and paramedic Harry Faulk had 10.
It sets up a five-way fall contest that includes council president pro tem Richard J. Votedian and vice president Rob Falce, who were respectively second and third in the Democratic contest.
For tax collector, Diane Pawlowski had 11 GOP write-ins and will face incumbent Democrat Donna J. Mercuri, while for mayor, incumbent Raymond Bodnar added to his Democratic nod the GOP's with 17 write-ins.
• In Pleasant Hills, assistant fire Chief Randy Porter received 26 write-ins to join Jeffrey E. Solomon on the Democratic slate for council. They'll face Republican incumbents Regis Brown, Robert Karcher and William D. Trimbath and newcomer Barbara M. Magnotti.
Former councilman Robert S. Bootay III garnered 37 Democratic votes to add that nod to his Republican nomination to succeed retiring Mayor Warren Bourgeois.
• In Versailles, Charisse Richards received 43 Democratic write-ins for tax collector.
James Fleckenstein received 13 Republican write-ins to cap a primary sweep for mayor. He defeated Jared Sheedy 144-34 in the Democratic contest.
Lisa Fleckenstein received 10 Republican write-ins for council to go with her front-running 132 Democratic votes. Fleckenstein joins Dennis B. Keefe on the GOP slate and Emerson Fazekas, Linda Sheedy and Cheryl Flaherty on the Democratic slate.
• Reports were not available for Port Vue at presstime. There, 139 write-ins were reported for council and 46 for mayor in the Republican primary. No write-ins were reported for the Democratic nod for mayor in White Oak, meaning Republican Ina Jean Marton likely will be unopposed in the fall. Also, there was no report of any GOP write-in success for West Mifflin Democrats.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.