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Ligonier supervisor quits in middle of campaign

| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Ligonier Township Supervisor Keith Whipkey resigned Wednesday morning in the midst of his re-election campaign, citing personal reasons, according to a township official.

Supervisor Tim Komar said supervisors will hold a special meeting at 8 a.m. Thursday to accept the resignation. Komar declined to release Whipkey's letter of resignation until it has been formally accepted by the board.

Whipkey, 57, did not respond to multiple attempts to reach him for comment.

By Wednesday afternoon an “Elect Keith Whipkey” sign had been removed from his front yard.

His name will still appear on the primary election ballot for the Republican nomination for a six-year term, along with challenger Scott Matson's, said Jim Montini, director of the Westmoreland County Election Bureau.

“The ballots have already been printed; it's too late to withdraw,” Montini said Wednesday.

If Whipkey wins the nomination, he will have until Aug. 12 to withdraw from the general election. Montini said the seat then would be declared vacant, and the election bureau would accept substitute nominations from the county Republican Committee.

Montini said he had not heard from Whipkey as of Wednesday afternoon.

Whipkey served as a supervisor for 16 years and prior to that worked in the paid, non-elected position as secretary-treasurer to the board.

“He's personally going through a lot right now. This is what's best for him, personally,” Komar said.

Personnel issues fall under the state's list of Sunshine Law exemptions, which means they can be discussed in a private executive session. Any votes, however, must be taken in a public meeting.

Jewels Phraner is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or jphraner@tribweb.com.

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