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Four Pittsburgh school board candidates won't be challenged in fall

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 11:32 p.m.

Voters decided five open seats on the Pittsburgh school board on Tuesday, sending four new faces into the fall general election unopposed.

Four of the five incumbents whose terms expire this year chose not to run for re-election, marking the largest turnover for the Pittsburgh Public Schools board in years. The fifth incumbent, Thomas Sumpter of the Hill District, was unopposed in District 3, which covers parts of Oakland and the Hill District.

Newcomer Cynthia Ann Falls was unchallenged for the District 7 seat in the city's South Hills neighborhoods.

In District 1, which includes Homewood and Lincoln-Larimer, Sylvia Wilson, 63, of Lincoln-Larimer beat Lucille Prater-Holliday, 56, of Homewood on the Democratic ballot, 62 percent to 38 percent. Wilson, a former teacher and part of the negotiating team for the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, cross-filed as a Republican but her opponent did not, so winning the primary effectively locks up the seat for her unless a write-in candidate wins in November.

“I've been on the negotiating team for the union for many, many, many years, so I've become very familiar with the budget issues,” Wilson said. “Those are going to be huge.”

The four would join the board at a pivotal time. The district continues to struggle with declining enrollment and a deficit that could leave it broke by 2016.

Terry Kennedy, 51, of Squirrel Hill won the District 5 seat representing Greenfield, Hazelwood, Hays, Lincoln Place, New Homestead, and parts of Oakland and Squirrel Hill. She beat Stephen DeFlitch, 42, of Greenfield with 78 percent of the vote.

Kennedy, a homemaker with a daughter at the Creative and Performing Arts School, cross-filed as a Republican and won't have an opponent in the fall.

“My goal was to win both nominations today, so I don't have to campaign in the fall and I can worry about learning the things I need to learn before the school year starts,” Kennedy said.

A three-way race representing West End neighborhoods in District 9 was narrowed to a single name, with Carolyn Klug winning the Democratic and Republican nominations with 39.2 percent of the Democratic vote. David Schuilenburg took 30.5 percent of the vote, and Lorraine Burton Eberhardt the other 30.5 percent.

Klug, 54, a retired teacher from Brighton Heights, was the only candidate in the district to cross-file, so she will have no opponent in the general election.

Board members serve four-year terms without pay.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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