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Local school board seats up for grabs

| Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, 3:11 a.m.

Thirteen seats are up for grabs on Mon-Yough area school boards in Tuesday's election.

Democratic incumbents DeWayne Tucker, Rosia Reid, Theresa Thomas and Laura E. Elmore are unopposed for four four-year seats in Duquesne City School District. No one filed for a two-year seat.

There are four four-year seats to fill in Elizabeth Forward, McKeesport Area and West Mifflin Area.

In each, three of the cross-filed candidates won nomination in both parties.

In Elizabeth Forward, Francis Joseph Posa and incumbents Dorothy A. Wycoff and Scott A. McVicker are dual-party nominees.

Incumbent Mary C. Scarry holds the fourth Democratic slot, having survived Posa's challenge to her candidacy last spring in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

Elizabeth Township police officer Jamie O. Evans, another challenge survivor, is on the ballot as a Republican.

At a March hearing, school board president Philip Martell's attorney Thomas M. Castello said Evans and Daniel J. Novacek, another township police officer, could run for constable but not for school director.

“The First Class Township Code says an officer cannot hold a position with the township,” their attorney Thomas S. Barry said. “This is the school district, and school districts are excluded from the code.”

Judge Joseph M. James fell back on a ruling made by the late state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph J. Cappy in the case of an underage candidate for magisterial district judge.

“He could run but couldn't be seated,” James said. “Eligibility to hold the office is different from eligibility to run for the office.”

Novacek lost in the primary.

In McKeesport Area, board president Patricia A. Maksin, incumbent Thomas P. Maglicco and contractor Scott P. Smith are on both parties' ballots. It is Smith's second try for a seat.

Incumbent Trisha Gadson is the fourth Democratic nominee, and Patti Wells Gruber fills out the Republican ticket.

In West Mifflin Area, Phil Shar was the only incumbent to win both parties' nods, joining newcomers Erin O'Leary White and Gina Caito. Incumbent Nicholas Alexandroff is a Republican, and incumbent Michael T. Price Jr. is a Democrat.

Candidates are unopposed for five seats in Clairton and four each in Baldwin-Whitehall (which includes a precinct in Pleasant Hills), East Allegheny, Norwin, South Allegheny, Steel Valley and West Jefferson Hills.

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

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