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Allegheny County Council, sheriff, judge seats up for grabs

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Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Two Mon-Yough incumbents are on the Nov. 5 ballot for Allegheny County Council.

In District 9 (Dravosburg, Duquesne, Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln, McKeesport, Port Vue, Versailles, West Mifflin and White Oak, as well as Elizabeth, Forward, North Versailles and South Versailles townships), incumbent Democrat Bob Macey of West Mifflin, who turns 65 on Thursday, faces Republican Ken Peoples, 41, of White Oak.

“I have proven leadership and proven skills,” said Macey, a retired credit union executive and former steelworker who chairs council's public works committee.

“People are looking for a different leader to represent them in county government,” said Peoples, whose background includes selling real estate and serving as an emergency medical technician for White Oak EMS.

In District 8 (Braddock, Braddock Hills, Chalfant, East McKeesport, East Pittsburgh, Edgewood, Monroeville, North Braddock, Pitcairn, Plum, Rankin, Swissvale, Trafford, Turtle Creek, Wall, Whitaker and Wilmerding), incumbent Democrat Charles Martoni, 77, of Swissvale faces Republican Dave Majernik, 67, of Plum.

Martoni is president of the Boyce Campus of Community College of Allegheny County. He has been president of county council since Rich Fitzgerald left that body to seek and win the county executive's post.

Martoni is known in some area circles because of his involvement in the Steel Valley Council of Governments. That involvement began while he served as a public official in COG member Swissvale and continued after he moved on to county council.

Majernik grew up in Munhall and worked as a software engineer for Bombardier in West Mifflin and Union Switch & Signal. He was project director for the Allegheny County Department of Aging's Senior Companion program and was an audio-visual coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh.

Majernik is vice chairman of the county Republican committee and past chairman of the GOP committee in Plum, where he also is running for mayor on Nov. 5.

Allegheny County voters have a choice for sheriff. The incumbent for the past seven years, Democrat William P. Mullen of Pittsburgh, faces the Constitution Party's Mike Zitelli of Bridgeville.

Allegheny voters have candidates for four judgeships on Common Pleas Court, including two appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett to fill vacancies.

County prosecutor Mark V. Tranquilli, 46, of Upper St. Clair and Judge Paul E. Cozza, 53, of Baldwin Township have both party nominations. Judge Bill Ward, 61, of Mt. Lebanon and civil litigator P.J. Murray, 52, of Upper St. Clair also are on the Republican ballot. Pitt adjunct professor Jennifer Satler, 38, of Pittsburgh's North Side and former KidsVoice legal director Eleanor Bush, 53, of Squirrel Hill also are on the Democratic slate.

Five Common Pleas judges face retention: Ronald W. Folino, Kathleen R. Mulligan, Lawrence J. O'Toole, Jill Rangos and Christine A. Ward.

In Westmoreland County, North Huntington Township resident Meghan Bilik DeFazio has both party nods for the Common Pleas bench, while former Irwin Solicitor Christopher A. Feliciani faces a retention vote. Meanwhile, all four Westmoreland row offices are being contested.

Coroner Kenneth Bacha, a Democrat, faces Republican former deputy coroner F. Christopher O'Leath. District Attorney John W. Peck, a Democrat, faces Republican attorney Peter J. Borghetti. Prothonotary Christina O'Brien, a Democrat, faces Republican Mike Powers, a former campaign manager for state Sen. Kim Ward. And Clerk of Courts Bryan L. Kline, a Republican, faces Democrat county jury commissioner Dan Blissman.

There is one statewide contest, for Superior Court between Democrat Jack McVay Jr., an Allegheny County Common Pleas judge and graduate of old Bishop Boyle High School in Homestead, and Republican Vic Stabile, a former deputy state attorney general.

Voters also will decide whether to retain Supreme Court justices Max Baer and Ronald D. Castille and Superior Court judges Susan Peikes Gantman and Jack Panella.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or

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