Old, new faces win borough elections
By Karl Polacek
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 12:56 a.m.
There were eight seats open on Mt. Pleasant Borough Council, with nine candidates vying for the positions. Three were incumbents, two were appointees and four were challengers.
In the borough's 1st Ward, three candidates vied for two open, four-year seats.
Incumbent David Pritts, who won the Republican nomination in the spring, received 32.28 percent of the vote to retain his seat.
Incumbent Cynthia Stevenson, who won the nomination for both parties in the spring, won her seat with 36.24 percent of the vote.
Democratic challenger Don McHirella was unsuccessful in his bid. He received 29.89 percent of the vote.
James M. Wojnar ran unopposed for the open two-year seat in the 1st Ward.
In the 2nd Ward, incumbent Susan Ruszkowski, who won both nominations in the spring, ran unopposed for an available four-year seat.
The lone two-year seat in the 2nd Ward was sought by only one candidate, nominated Democrat Diane Bailey.
In the borough's 3rd Ward, three candidates — all challengers — vied for two open four-year seats: Albert Beranek, nominated by Republicans, and John “Jack” Caruso and Paul Wagner, both nominated by Democrats.
Receiving the most votes and the council seats were Caruso, with 37.50 percent of the votes, followed by Wagner, with 29.53 percent of the votes. Beranek lost his bid, receiving 18.97 percent of the vote.
Also in the 3rd Ward, Beranek, who ran unopposed in the primary, faced Caruso for an open two-year seat. Caruso won the seat, receiving 37.50 percent of the vote, while Beranek received 24.71 percent of the vote. A write-in candidate received 34.9 percent of the vote.
Since Caruso was elected to both the four-year and two-year seats, he will be able to choose which seat he wants to fill, according to the county election bureau.
Republican Norman Gordon won Dunbar's mayoral race on Tuesday by receiving 62 percent of the vote against Democrat John Williams' 38 percent.
Gordon, 66, is president of Dunbar Borough Council. He has been involved on council for the past four years.
Williams is a lifelong borough resident.
Williams served on Dunbar Council for many years, including two terms as president. He was on the police committee, serving as its chairman, while he was mayor.
Four incumbents and one new candidate vied for four, four-year seats on South Connellsville Council on Tuesday.
Incumbent Republican Karen Holbrook, 50, who was seeking her first full term, won her seat, receiving 22 percent of the vote.
Clyde Martz, 73, a Democratic incumbent seeking a third term, won his seat, receiving 22 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Jim Swink, 50, a Democrat, also was seeking a third term. He won, receiving 21 percent of the vote.
Democratic incumbent and council President Mark Ward, 55, lost his bid for a sixth term. He received 17 percent of the vote, while Republican challenger Kim Laws, 44, received 18 percent.
Four of the five candidates running for Vanderbilt Borough Council on Tuesday were incumbents. One lost her bid for re-election.
Tom Sankovich, council president, won his bid for re-election, receiving 21 percent of the vote. He has served for at least 20 years, the past 10 as president.
Sheila Kurtz, who has served one term on council, lost her bid for re-election. She received 18 percent of the vote.
Betty Keffer has served on council for 16 years. She won her seat on Tuesday, garnering 19 percent of the vote.
Duane King won his bid for re-election with 20 percent of the vote.
Challenger Harry “Pete” Gray served on council in the 1970s. On Tuesday, he won his bid for a council seat. He received 22 percent of the vote.
All election results are unofficial until approved by the Fayette and Westmoreland county election bureaus.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 724-626-3538.
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