Write-ins give Baldwin Borough incumbents another chance

| Thursday, June 13, 2013, 1:36 p.m.

Three Baldwin Borough council incumbents who failed to receive their party's nomination for open seats on council and a bout at the mayoral post in the May Primary could have another shot at a re-election bid.

Officials at the Allegheny County Department of Elections said on Friday that they were still compiling results for write-in votes from around the region.

Yet, unofficial results for the Republican nomination for four open Baldwin Borough Council seats showed incumbents Robert Collet and Larry Brown receiving the most write-in votes for the party nomination, with 38 and 34 votes, respectively. Collet and Brown, who have served on Baldwin council for the last four years, failed to receive the Democratic nomination in May yet now could appear on the Republican ballot in November.

“I think it's fantastic,” Collet said. “We got through the Primary and we're in the main game now. Everybody starts at zero now, just like in sports when you head into the playoffs, everyone is on an equal playing field.”

Other top Republican write-in vote getters, according to county elections representatives, were four-year Baldwin Borough Council incumbent John Conley, who received 26 votes, and Baldwin-Whitehall School Board member Kevin Fischer, with 24 votes.

The top candidates for each position will be sent a letter that will allow them to file for the write-in nomination, election division representatives said.

Seven candidates sought the Democratic party nomination in May. It was Fischer, Conley, Michael Ducker and Francis Scott, all of whom were endorsed by the Baldwin Borough Democratic Organization, that received the party nomination.

Ducker and Scott also received write-in votes for the Republican nomination, with 23 and 21 votes, respectively, which were not enough to capture a place on the November ballot on the Republican ticket.

Baldwin Borough Council President David Depretis bested four-year council incumbent Ed Moeller in the May primary as the two squared off in a contest to seek the Democratic party nomination for mayor, replacing retiring 16-year veteran Mayor Alexander Bennett.

Yet, it was Moeller who received the most write-in votes for mayor on the Republican ticket, election division officials said. Moeller received 64 write-in votes to Depretis' 51 votes.

Moeller said Monday that he had not received word that he had won the Republican party's nomination. But, if that is the case, he said, he likely would keep his name on the ballot “out of respect for those who voted” for him.

Losing the Democratic nomination was difficult for the entire Moeller family who put their all into getting Ed elected, he said.

“I think right now, I would at least be on the ballot and let all of the voters decide who they want as mayor,” Moeller said.

All results are unofficial until certified by the county elections department.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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