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Incumbents score wins in Norwin-area races

| Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, 4:09 p.m.

Democratic and Republican incumbents in North Huntingdon, Irwin and North Irwin celebrated victory after sealing reelection bids this week.

In North Huntingdon, Republican incumbent Zachary Haigis won a second term as the 2nd ward commissioner, which covers a southern portion of the township.

Haigis secured 362 votes, or about 55 percent, according to unofficial election results. His challenger, Democrat Anthony Gockel, earned 292 votes, or about 45 percent.

Haigis, 27, was first elected in 2009.

Richard Gray, filed as both a Republican and Democrat, ran unopposed for the 4th ward commissioner seat and got 634 votes to retain his seat. Thomas Krause, a Democrat, also kept his 6th ward commissioner seat with 398 votes.

In North Irwin, James Douglas won another term as mayor with 126 votes. Ken Galley, Kim Macalus, Matt Berkhouse, and Ron Rodgers did not seek re-election. Berkhouse had been appointed to finish the term of Zach Laugherty, who resigned in 2012. Tom Harrison resigned in January, but his term would have been completed in December.

Ronald Brown is council's only incumbent council member. Gina Sonnik was appointed to finish out the term of Bernie Reynolds, who died in May. In Irwin, Democrat Lois Bennett earned a third term as the borough's tax collector.

Bennett earned 392 votes, or about 72 percent, according to unofficial election results. Her challenger, Republican Len Cole, earned 149 votes, or about 28 percent.

Bennett, 65, was first elected in 2005. The tax collector is responsible for real estate taxes from about 1,300 homes in the borough.

Daniel T. Rose, who cross-filed as a Republican and Democrat, retained the mayor's post with 462 votes. John Cassandro (397 votes), Gail Macioce (396 votes), Peggie Watson (394 votes) and Phyllis Thiem (304 votes) all won council seats.

Four candidates who emerged from a field of 10 in the May primary officially earned spots on the Norwin School Board – Al Lynn, Barbara Viola, Don Rhodes and Becky Gediminskas. All were cross-filed.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626.

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