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FOP backs newcomers for councils, sheriff, judge

| Saturday, April 6, 2013, 12:20 a.m.

Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 announced on Friday its endorsements for Pittsburgh City Council and Allegheny County Council, sheriff and judge.

“We have firsthand knowledge of the character of these candidates because we work with them every day,” said FOP President Mike LaPorte. “We want to make sure that we're putting the right people into the job.

“The second prong of that is I think society looks toward us for endorsements because of that same reason.”

The FOP selected Franco “Dok” Harris, 33, of Downtown over incumbent City Councilman Daniel Lavelle, 35, of the Hill in District 6. Charles Hanlon, who chairs the endorsement committee, said Lavelle did not seek an endorsement.

The union also endorsed John Lee, 52, of Brookline over incumbent City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, 33, of Carrick for District 4.

City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, 53, of Westwood, who is running unopposed in District 2, got the FOP's backing.

Endorsed judge candidates include Mark Tranquilli, 45, of Upper St. Clair; Paul Cozza, 52, of Baldwin Township; Daniel Regan, 37, of the North Side; and Pat Connelly, 45, of Shadyside.

The police union endorsed incumbent Allegheny Councilman Jim Ellenbogen, 57, D-Banksville, and Ed Kress, 41, of Shaler, a Republican appointed to council to fill the unexpired term of Chuck McCullough.

Sheriff Bill Mullen, 66, of Banksville, who is running unopposed, also earned an endorsement.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

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