Peck, other Dems win
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck won a fifth term Tuesday, bucking a recent trend by voters to place Republicans into county offices previously controlled by Democrats for decades.
Peck — along with Coroner Ken Bacha and Prothonotary Christina O'Brien — held on to their seats for the Democrats, signaling the first significant countywide victories for the party in the last four years.
Peck, 66, of New Kensington defeated Republican patent attorney Peter Borghetti, 55, of Murrysville. With 305 of 306 precincts reporting, Peck received 59 percent of the vote, compared with 41 percent for Borghetti. The results are unofficial until verified by the county election bureau. Peck, who was appointed in 1994, won his fifth full term.
“People vote on how the office is depicted and seen and the citizens of the county based their vote on our record and hard work.
They said they liked what they saw the last four years,” Peck said Tuesday night from the South Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department, where Democratic candidates watched the returns.
Bacha, 52, of Greensburg defeated F. Christopher O'Leath, 36, of New Kensington, a former deputy under Bacha. Bacha won a fourth term, with 60 percent to O'Leath's 40 percent.
“People looked at it as a candidate and not a party and that pulled me through this,” Bacha said.
O'Brien, a first-term incumbent, appeared to narrowly hold on to her seat by defeating Republican challenger Mike Powers, 25, of Hempfield. O'Brien, 46, of Mt. Pleasant Township, received 52 percent of the vote to Powers' 48 percent.
“I'm honored we worked really hard the last four years,” O'Brien said. “The Democrats worked extremely hard to rebuild the party and it showed in the election results.”
The wins put a dent in the Republicans' steady sweep of row offices that began when Clerk of Courts Bryan Kline was elected four years ago. “This is the power of incumbency and name recognition,” said political analyst Bill Green. “As turnout gets lower and lower, only those who are turning out are motivated and know the candidate they are voting for.”
Turnout in Westmoreland County was about 25 percent.
Kline was the first Republican to win a row office seat in a half-century. Republicans swept all five row offices available in 2011 and for the first time in 60 years won a majority on the board of commissioners.
Republicans now claim six of nine row offices, the same number the party held heading into Tuesday's election.
Kline, 32, of Penn Township, won four more years in office by defeating Democrat Dan Blissman, 64, of Hempfield, 57 percent to 43 percent.
Voters elected Republican Meagan Bilik DeFazio as a Common Pleas Court judge. Bilik DeFazio, 38, of North Huntingdon was nominated by both parties in the primary.
Voters retained Judge Chris Feliciani, 54, of Hempfield for 10 more years. He was retained by 70 percent.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mt. Pleasant-based author details area’s ‘Hidden History’
- Westmoreland, Fayette groups open doors to share Thanksgiving meals
- Westmoreland, Fayette towns prepare to ring in holidays
- 7 arrested in Latrobe-area drug dealing
- Woman to stand trial in Jeannette tot’s death
- Woman admits to theft of 2 weapons in Latrobe shooting case
- Fire at Latrobe plant contained
- Jeannette ups earned income tax
- Burglars target 2 Herminie stores
- 20 charged in Western Pennsylvania drug crackdown
- Psychologist’s compassion buoyed students, friends