DA Peck virtually assured of securing a fourth term

| Friday, May 29, 2009

District Attorney John Peck has won the write-in vote on the Republican ballot and is now virtually assured of securing a fourth term in office this fall.

Greensburg lawyer Jim Antoniono on Wednesday conceded the race after county election officials released early write-in totals that gave Peck the edge for the GOP nomination by more than 200 votes.

"It was close, but I came up just a little short," Antoniono said.

Peck easily won last week's Democratic primary by more than 6,400 votes — more than 60 percent of the total. Both Democratic candidates waged write-in campaigns to seek the Republican nomination. There was no Republican candidate.

Nearly 2,500 GOP write-in votes were counted last week. Unofficial results released yesterday gave 1,272 to Peck and 1,063 to Antoniono.

Election Bureau Director Jim Montini said it will be several weeks before the results are certified as official.

Peck, 61, of New Kensington, was grateful for the bipartisan support, which he said reflected public satisfaction with his job performance during the last 14 years.

During the campaign Antoniono, 63, claimed Peck spent too much time personally prosecuting cases and not enough paying attention to community outreach.

Peck said those complaints were unwarranted.

"There has always been outreach by the District Attorney's Office to the community. We appear frequently at schools," Peck said. "I think it is an important part of leadership that the district attorney tries all manner of cases, including the most difficult cases."

Antoniono, who has a predominantly civil law practice, pledged during the campaign that he would not personally try cases.

During his concession call to Peck, Antoniono said, he told the incumbent that he hopes some of his criticisms of the office, especially his call for more drug education in local schools, would be addressed.

"We really need to get out there into the schools and talk about this issue," Antoniono said.

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