Write-ins could affect 7 local races
By Patrick Cloonan
Published: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 2:46 a.m.
Write-ins may affect seven area races in Tuesday's elections.
• North Irwin has four council openings. Incumbent Democrat Paul John McIntyre is alone on the ballot.
Mike Schade had enough votes for nominations in both parties but didn't accept them.
• South Versailles Township has three openings for commissioners. Board president Jay Warabak, a Democrat, is alone on the ballot.
• In North Versailles Township's Sixth Ward, a write-in candidate for commissioner hopes for the same success write-in candidate Kash Snyder had eight years ago when he upset incumbent Edward McGuire.
“Many voters (told me) they want someone who doesn't follow the status quo of the usual political crowd,” Judy A. Slater wrote to residents.
Slater, 63, a retired Turtle Creek Valley Mental Health research coordinator, is challenging the township's Democratic committee endorsee, former East Allegheny school director Vince Paradine.
Paradine, 65, the finance director for North Versailles Township Sanitary Authority, defeated Snyder and incumbent Art Marra, 64, in the May primary.
Paradine filed for the Republican nomination when he received 13 GOP write-ins in the primary. Allegheny County Elections Division said Marra had 14 write-ins but did not file to accept them.
Slater had 11. Snyder, 43, failed to get the 10 required by state law for a place on the ballot.
Marra defeated Snyder in 2009. Snyder used write-ins to oust McGuire, 294-268, in 2005.
“I think I have a handle on more subjects than (Slater) is aware of,” Paradine said.
Paradine and the sanitary authority are seeking a forensic audit of Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport.
“It looks like we are going to move forward on that,” he said.
He said there is a new concept on its way, stormwater authorities, to maintain sewers separated from sanitary lines. He said an authority in Meadville charges $92 a year.
Slater said she will keep the interests of families in mind.
“Any vote I would make would involve careful research, discussion and analysis,” Slater wrote. “As a wife, mother and grandmother, I understand the importance of making the township a safe and progressive place for families.”
Paradine was a school director for 14 years. He lost to Fred Miller in 2007.
“I've gotten blighted properties taken care of on various streets,” Paradine said. “I've been involved doing things (and) worked with county leaders, including (former commissioner) Jim Flaherty, (state Sen.) Jay Costa (and Rep.) Paul Costa, (county Treasurer) John Weinstein and (former clerk of courts) George Matta.”
In the township's Second Ward, Joseph Kutch received 12 write-ins to qualify as GOP challenger to incumbent Democrat Daryl Mitchell. In the Fourth Ward, incumbent Democrat Samuel Juliano also won the GOP nod.
• Versailles will have a write-in candidate for council.
“I have my ears to the community,” Evelyn Coddington said. “I listen to what the community wants.”
Coddington is a stay-at-home caregiver to her mother and granddaughter.
“She's been a borough resident for some 30 years,” Councilman Gary Roscoe said. “She will be a good member of council.”
Roscoe ran an ad in The Daily News seeking two write-in candidates, but said Coddington didn't respond.
“She got the chairwoman of the Democratic Party committee (Tillie Gricar) interested in this,” Roscoe said.
Gricar could not be reached for comment.
Roscoe said he sought more choices for council, which said is too secretive.
Coddington is taking on five candidates slated for four council seats. Tax collector Lisa Fleckenstein is the ballot as a Republican and Democrat, while incumbent Dennis B. Keefe also is on the GOP ballot and incumbents Emerson Fazekas, Linda Sheedy and Cheryl Flaherty also are on the Democratic slate.
• In North Huntingdon Township, May write-ins assured candidacies on both major party slates for Commissioner Richard Gray in the Fourth Ward and tax collector Shelley R. Buchanan.
In the Second Ward, Republican Commissioner Zachary Haigis faces Democrat Anthony Gockel, public works director in Etna, while in the Sixth Ward, Democratic former commissioner Thomas G. Krause is unopposed on the ballot.
• Wilmerding has a two-year council term to be filled.
• Forward Township seeks auditors for six-, four- and two-year terms. West Elizabeth has an auditor's post.
• Write-ins will decide a two-year seat in Duquesne City School District, where four incumbents are unopposed for four-year terms.
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.
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