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Lincoln gets Democratic nod in Connellsville mayoral primary

Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Connellsville mayoral candidate Greg Lincoln celebrates his primary victory on Tuesday night with his wife, Leigh Ann Lincoln; daughter, Amelia Lincoln; and friends at his headquarters. 5/21/13

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By Mark Hofmann and Marilyn Forbes
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 2:21 a.m.

The mayor's race for Connellsville in Tuesday's primary ended with the incumbent mayor losing out to a newcomer by a few percentage points.

Greg Lincoln won on the Democratic ticket, receiving 47 percent of the vote, defeating two opposing candidates.

Lincoln said that it was a rough couple of months leading up to the election, but there wasn't anything that he would do differently.

“I think that I ran a good campaign and I had a lot of good people supporting me,” Lincoln said, adding that he spent election day canvassing the city and talking to voters. “We gave it 100 percent, and I worked every ward in the city. I feel that I reached every person in the city in some way.”

Lincoln said that win or lose, he was glad he decided to run to try to make a change in the city and he is thankful for the support of those who believed in him and those who voted for him.

“I can't thank the people who supported me enough,” Lincoln said. “I thank those who supported me and I thank the people of Connellsville for taking a chance on me and believing in me and for giving me the chance to get the city back on track.”

Lincoln said after working so hard and so long on his campaign, it's time for a little rest.

“I'll be sleeping in tomorrow,” Lincoln laughed. “I need a day off.”

Connellsville Mayor Charles Matthews received 44 percent of the vote. He said he could have campaigned a little harder and organized a little better, but he was proud that he ran his campaign on his record of not raising taxes and didn't run a dirty campaign.

“I didn't enjoy the low points of the campaign,” he said, adding that the other candidates had no experience on council and didn't know about arbitration and police contracts when it comes to cutting costs in the city's budget. “People say what they want to say without facts.”

Although he didn't win the primary, Matthews said he's run and lost in other elections, but he did it for the city.

“I just enjoyed doing it, serving the community,” Matthews said. “It's just another election.”

First-time candidate Joshua DeWitt, who said he was taking people back and forth to the polls for most of the day and visited other polling locations, received 9 percent of the vote.

“It is what it is,” he said. “I can't change it. That's why people have the right to vote.”

DeWitt said he remained undeterred during the campaign. He said one of the highlights was meeting people at the candidates' forum held in April and he is not discouraged to keep going.

“I'm not giving up,” DeWitt said. “I will run for something else.”

No Republicans ran in the mayoral primary.

Running for two, four-year seats on Connellsville City Council were Democrat incumbent Tom Karpiak, who ran unopposed and received 100 percent of the vote, and Aaron Zolbrod, a newcomer on the Republican ticket. The two would run unopposed in the general election unless they are challenged by a write-in campaign.

All results are unofficial.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539

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