Penn Hills incumbents secure nominations; school board will have at least two new members

Patrick Varine
| Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 11:00 p.m.

It was largely a night of incumbent victory in Penn Hills, as current sitting members of both the Penn Hills Municipal Council and school board came away with wins in the 2013 primary election.

Council incumbents, Deputy Mayor Sara Kuhn and Councilman J-Lavon Kincaid, combined to bring in 74 percent of the Democratic vote. Challenger Vincent DeLuca won just under 25 percent of the 4,450 Democratic votes cast.

Kuhn and Kincaid have served on council since 2004, and will square off against Republicans Brent Rambo and Rupert, the only GOP candidates to file for the two council seats up for grabs.

On the school board side, incumbents Jennifer Burgess-Johnson and Robert Hudak will appear on the general election ballot on the Democratic side along with newcomers Pauline Calabrese, William Phifer and Linda Molitierno. Hudak was the top overall vote-getter, earning 2,330 combined votes.

Phifer, who is cross-filed along with all other candidates but is a registered Republican, will be the fourth candidate on the GOP side of the general-election ballot. With 49 of 50 precints reporting on Tuesday night, Phifer held a slim, 14-vote lead over fellow candidate Kelly Smithson. When the final precint numbers came in after midnight, Phifer came away with a 15-vote win.

Phifer could not be reached for comment.

The unofficial numbers reported by the Allegheny County Division of Elections are listed below, with all 50 precints reporting. The results are unofficial until certified by the county's Board of Elections.


Democratic ballot:

• Jennifer Burgess-Johnson -1,660

• Erin Vecchio - 848

• Pauline Calabrese -1,405

• Linda Molitierno - 1,502

• Kelly Smithson - 852

• William Phifer - 746

• Robert Hudak - 1,802

Republican ballot:

• Jennifer Burgess-Johnson - 284

• Erin Vecchio - 244

• Pauline Calabrese - 393

• Linda Molitierno - 396

• Kelly Smithson - 349

• William Phifer - 364

• Robert Hudak - 528


Democratic ballot:

• Sara Kuhn - 1,787

• J-Lavon Kincaid Sr., - 1,528

• Vincent DeLuca Jr. - 1,106

Republican ballot:

• Linda Rupert - 653

• Brent Rambo - 595

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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