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Former Export mayor beats incumbent for Democratic nomination

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 11:45 p.m.
Bob Campagna
Michael Calder

The former Export mayor has won a chance to fight for his old position.

Bob Campagna received the Democratic nomination for Export Mayor Tuesday night, edging incumbent Mayor Michael Calder for the party nomination by five votes. Only 95 Democrats cast ballots in the race.

But the race isn't over yet. Calder received 18 write-in votes from Republicans, and if at least 10 are certified, he will appear as the Republican candidate in the Nov. 5 election.

Campagna has served as borough mayor twice before – in the 1980s and from 2002 until Calder unseated him in 2010. He also served on council for two years in the 1980s.

Campagna's last term as mayor was a contentious one. He clashed with council over the idea of providing police protection in the borough — it is patrolled by state police – and the handling of the trust left to the borough by businessman Joseph “Junior” Hall.

Tempers flared over Campagna's promise to pay members of the Export Volunteer Fire Department for work completed in the borough after a 2009 flood.

If elected in November, Campagna said he will make sure to take voter concerns to heart.

“I want to thank all of my supporters who came out tonight,” Campagna said. “When I was out campaigning, I listened to a lot of people's concerns. They want to be heard. They want those concerns to be addressed.”

Calder did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday night.

Four years ago, Calder received nearly double the amount of votes than Campagna, as 162 votes were cast in the 2009 Democratic primary. At the time, Campagna received 53 votes – three more than he received this year – to Calder's 109.

All results are unofficial until certified by the Westmoreland County Election Bureau.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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